By Emmanuel Nduka
Last week, Heritage Times HT reported the statement of the immediate-past President of the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF), Moses Siasia, warning that Nigeria’s political elite would soon begin to face the consequences of massive migration abroad of Nigerian youths.
He said up to “75 percent” of the young Nigerians who are mostly exiting the country through illegal routes, find themselves stuck on the Mediterranean sea.
And now the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has disclosed that many of the Nigerians, at least 1,000, are stranded in the UK and unable to return home.
According to the UN Migration agency in Nigeria, the said figure of Nigerians are stranded in the UK after receiving fake employment letters.
Local newspaper, Vanguard reported that IOM’s Chief of Mission in Nigeria, Laurent De Boeck, disclosed this in Abuja on Monday where he advised potential migrants to be cautious of a syndicate that specialises in offering fake employment letters to Nigerians seeking to work in the UK.
He said the victims of this syndicate, which was not named, on presenting the employment letters to the organisations in the UK are told the letters did not come from them.
“There are some of them who lost over $10,000 only to be given fake employment letters, which allowed them to get visas. They get there, present the letters, and the organisations tell them that the letters did not emanate from the organisations. Over a thousand people are affected,” De Boeck was quoted as saying by Vanguard.
Many of these people are unable to return home because they lack the means to come back, while others are ashamed, he added.
While the agency also announced that it is working with partners to repatriate thousands of persons, including Nigerians, from Tunisia, which recently placed a ban on migration, it said it is also working extensively with Italy to develop regular migration pathways for qualified Nigerians.
De Boeck thus encouraged Nigerians to seek out proper information before migrating, adding that at least 260,000 Nigerians had approached it in 2023, seeking guidance on how to migrate through regular or approved routes.