By Patience Danjuma
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has said the Senate will support the efforts of the Federal Government and the European Union in mitigating the rising cases of illegal migration into European countries.
Saraki stated this when the new EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Ketil Karlsen, visited him in Abuja.
Details of the meeting was contained in a statement signed by the Head, International Relations to the Senate President, Bamikole Omishore.
The Senate President called on the envoy to help facilitate capacity building for illegal migrants from Nigeria in Europe to encourage them to return home with skills to sustain a livelihood.
He also called on the EU to ensure that Nigerians legally staying in Europe are not only protected but have their stay properly regularised.
The statement quoted him as saying: “I know there are a number of issues that are of great concern to you and to us, particularly in the area of migration.
“I know there are pending agreements between Nigeria and the EU that we need to be prompt about and come to quick resolution so as to be able to put those agreements in place.
“This, I believe will help us address the issue of illegal immigrants into the EU and also to see what kind of responses we can build, like capacity, to make it more attractive for these Nigerians to come back and be able to sustain a livelihood.
“I think this is something we need to start pushing forward in our discussions and see how we can begin to implement something that will work. I also think that during your tenure in the country, this is a very important area where we need to see work done. We need to see how we can provide some vocational training for individuals that are willing to come back.”
Earlier, Ambassador Karlsen described Nigeria and the EU as natural political partners and pledged to work to further cement the existing cordial relations between the EU and the country.
“So, whatever I can do to promote that understanding you can count on me. As I enter my tenure and be responsible for a very significant development cooperation portfolio I would wish nevertheless to emphasize the political relationship,” Karlsen said.
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