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Germany and Nigeria: New advice center for regular migration

Idris Uwaisu in Abuja
February 7, 2024

Germany and Nigeria have established a new migrant resource center on the outskirts of Abuja. The German government hopes to make migration successful for both countries involved.

Nkeiruka Onyejeocha and Svenja Schulze cut a red ribbon at the opening of the Migration Resource Center
Nkeiruka Onyejeocha and Svenja Schulze at the opening of the Migration Resource CenterImage: Uwaisu Idris/DW

German Development Minister Svenja Schulze has opened a new Migration Resource Center in Ado, a densely populated area near Nigeria's capital, Abuja.

The center, funded by Germany, is part of a strategy to offer information and employment advice to young people in Nigeria. 

Nigerians are leaving the country in increasing numbers. Many make the dangerous journey to Europe by crossing the Sahara Desert and the Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterranean without the required paperwork or having secured employment beforehand.  

The Migration Resource Center provides counseling, support and employment advice to Nigerians who intend to migrate to Europe and offers advisory support for Nigerians in Germany and Europe who want to relocate back to Nigeria.

Nigeria Abuja | Besuch von Entwicklungsministerin Svenja Schulze
German development minister Svenja Schulze Image: Uwaisu Idris/DW

"Migration is a reality that needs to be shaped so that it can benefit everyone, the people who migrate, the country of origin and the host community," Schulze told DW. "That's what this cooperation is all about: making migration successful for Nigeria and Germany."

Migration Resource Center yielding results

Nigeria' Minister of State for Labour and Employmen Nkeiruka Onyejeocha described the center's inauguration as a significant milestone in the partnership between Nigeria and Germany.

"Due to the growing economic and demographic factors, which suggest that we are in an age of growing migration pressures, the Federal Ministry of Labour in partnership with the GIZ Center for Migration and Development established this Migration Resource Center here in Ado, Nasarawa State, which is the advisory migration center for people wishing to migrate to Germany, Europe, or within their region via regular channels to work or continue their education outside their country," Onyejeocha told DW.

Nigeria is looking forward to the promotion of labor exchange with Germany through bilateral labor migration agreements, she added. 

Nigeria Abuja | Besuch von Entwicklungsministerin Svenja Schulze
Nigeria and Germany have paved the way to deepen their collaboration on migrationImage: Uwaisu Idris/DW

The GIZ, which is funded by the German government, has been collaborating with Nigeria on several migration projects. According to Onyejeocha, this has provided individual support to a total of 320,000 people in areas of employment, grants, counseling and psychosocial support. Some 37,000 of them have gained employment, and about 57,000 have received startup grants. 

Zarah Muhammad is among these beneficiaries. "I have benefited from the center because I was trained as a tailor here, the Migration Center for Development supported me. I now work and train other women," she told DW.

Pursuing dangerous dreams

Nigeria is one of the countries facing challenges of irregular migration to Europe because of poverty, a low standard of living, and insecurity. 

The Nasarawa State government also works with the Migration Center to promote regular migration.

‘'This time, migration often is associated with hurdles on one hand and opportunities on the other. Because of these reasons, the government evolves measures at all levels towards addressing this issue of migration,'' said Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State  Emmanuel Akabe.

What's behind the Nigerian urge to 'japa,' or migrate?

Schulze visited a skill acquisition center funded by the German government as part of its contribution to training young Nigerians to start their own businesses.

Schulze emphasized that migration promotes economic prosperity and strengthens trade relations between countries, benefiting everyone involved.

"Nigeria is one of the countries from which relatively large numbers of people migrate to Europe irregularly," she said. "Many people are not aware of the risks involved; they often put their trust in false promises or in exaggerated social media posts about supposed success stories. The advice provided in the centers is meant to ensure that people interested in migrating are able to make well-informed decisions."

In addition to Nigeria, Germany has migration and development centers in Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tunisia and Jordan.

Edited by: David Ehl

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