According to a statement by Germany’s interior ministry released on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, the European giants recorded an uptick in asylum requests last month, with a recorded increase of 61.5% compared to December 2018.
The highest number of asylum requests were made by people from Syria (3,647), followed by people from Iraq (1,498), Nigeria, Iran (1,006) and Turkey (944).
Of the top five countries, Nigeria has the lowest acceptance rate at 10.1%, as opposed to Iran with 18.2% acceptance rate and Turkey with 49.7%. Syria’s acceptance rate stood at a high 86.5% and Iraq at 34.1%.
Nigeria’s low acceptance rate can be attributed to what a migration campaign group noted to be the European Union’s failure to consider Nigeria as a country troubled by political persecution.
An asylum application is expected to demonstrate a legitimate fear of persecution from country of origin on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, social class, and other legally defined criteria.
In May 2018, the German foreign policy adviser, Jan Hecker, met with Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to discuss how to repatriate around 30,000 undocumented Nigerian migrants back to the country after they were denied asylum.
Nigeria’s Head of Mission in Germany, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, rejected the figures and claimed some Africans from other countries were in the habit of claiming to be Nigerians.
Many Nigerians are leaving the country in droves, legally and illegally, to seek greener pastures abroad with economic opportunities believed to be scarce.
Hundreds have died while travelling through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea trying to make dangerous trips abroad, usually to Italy through Libya. People that didn’t die due to the dangerous trips fell victims of human traffickers.
A recent hot spot for Nigerians seeking greener pastures abroad is Canada whose government has put several strict measures in place to discourage illegal immigration which has been on the rise since 2017.
Nigerians make up a sizeable majority of thousands of people who have walked into Canada from the United States to file refugee claims since January 2017.
According to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, the acceptance rate of Nigerian border crossers, who didn’t go through a designated port of entry, between February 2017 and June 2018, was 29.3%.