International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said at least 1,200 Nigerians have died while trying to migrate through the Sahara desert and Mediterranean Sea this year.
The acting Deputy Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Kemi Nandap, disclosed this Thursday during the 2023 Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Nationwide Sensitization and Enlightenment Campaign at the NIS headquarters in Abuja.
The event was held in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the NIS.
The team visited Jabi Park, the Federal Government Boys College Apo, and Garki on Thursday.
Nandap, who is in charge of the Directorate of Migration, lamented that many Nigerian youths were losing their lives while trying to seek greener pastures abroad through irregular routes.
“We have a big problem in this country and that is the issue of ‘Japa syndrome’. We have so many of our youths who are dying in the Sahara, dying in the Mediterranean Sea. They are dying for no cause,” she said.
Nandap urged Nigerians wishing to ‘Japa’ to reach out to the migration desk in all the NIS state commands for necessary information.
Declaring the event open, the acting Comptroller General of the NIS, Wuraola Adepoju, urged Nigerians wishing to relocate abroad to take the regular route.
She gave this advice while declaring open the 2023 Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Nationwide Sensitization and Enlightenment Campaign at the NIS headquarters in Abuja on Thursday in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the service.
The acting CG said it was pertinent to educate Nigerians about the ills of irregular migration, adding that Nigeria was losing too many youths on the illegal routes.
“The government of Nigeria is against smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons and we know that education and sensitisation is an effective way of prevention.
“We do not want to continue to lose youths to the dangerous trans-Sahara route and the treacherous Mediterranean Sea in their attempt to seek greener pastures.
“We know that many people want to go abroad seeking greener pastures. It is not bad but these journeys must be safe, must be orderly, and must be regular,” she said.