26th March, 2013
Nigeria has recorded a high number of voluntary repartees from Switzerland following the migration partnership agreement between both countries.
Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, the Nigerian Ambassador to Switzerland made this known on Monday in Bern in an interview with the Western Europe Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Njeze said more than 70 percent of illegal immigrants have accepted “on their own” to return to Nigeria in line with incentives provided within the framework of the migration partnership.
NAN reports that under the partnership signed in 2011, voluntary repartees are given return assistance to the tune of 7,000 Swiss Franc, an equivalent of 8,000 U.S. dollars.
The envoy said that the money, which is given upon arrival by the Swiss Embassy, was meant for “rehabilitation, or soft landing purpose,” in order to aid their integration into the society.
She also said that such categories of returnees were transported home in regular flights and with due courtesy.
However, Njeze, said that the percentage of those who fall under the “forced repatriation” category had been on the decline.
She said once they are caught and are deported, “they go home in chartered flights and in poor conditions.”
According to her, such categories of returnees do not benefit from the migration partnership incentives.
She said, “as a matter of fact, they leave without anything, and are often times chained in the aircraft to prevent violence.”
“My advise to Nigerians back home is to stop searching for greener pasture abroad, home is greener.
“It is difficult to get a job in Switzerland as a foreigner when some Swiss are unemployed.
“If you compare the level of progress of those illegal immigrants, you will realise that their contemporaries at home are far ahead of them,’’ Njeze said.
She blamed some members of the diaspora community for “deceiving and enticing others to go abroad in search of a better life.”
“They usually do not paint the real picture of the hardship they are faced with abroad.”
The Nigeria-Switzerland migration partnership agreement also include campaign against human and drug trafficking, as well as capacity building for Police and Immigration officials.