No less than 37,000 Nigerians migrated to Italy in 2016, the President of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini, has said.
She stated this on Monday during a courtesy visit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, in an attempt to unify efforts by both Nigeria and Italy to check the ugly trend and terrorism.
Boldrini, who did not specify as to whether the immigrants entered Italy legally or not, remarked that Italy will stand by Nigeria to combat terrorism, even as it appreciates ongoing effort to tackle the menace since it remains a threat to the entire world.
While applauding President Muhammadu Buhari for the rescue of 82 girls who were kidnapped from Chibok, Borno State three years ago, she expressed willingness of Italy’s parliament to collaborate with its Nigerian counterpart to address the challenges faced by victims displaced by Boko Haram attacks, as well as the trafficking of people, especially young girls and women, to Italy.
Boldrini also said that she was concerned that “UN agencies, working to provide aid for IDPs, are suffering because of lack of aid. It is important that the international community continues to fund, to get resources for those in need so that they don’t cut aid for victims of terrorism in this country.”
Dogara who expressed appreciation over her visit, stressed the need for the education and economic empowerment of citizenry.
While calling for partnership between the two countries to stop the tide of illegal immigration and terrorism in Nigeria, he said one of the ways the feat can be achieved is through economic development, which is a sure way to empower people to get out of poverty and resist the lure to engage in crime or risk travelling to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea.
He further added that it is the quest for a better life that motivates Nigerians and other nationalities to embark on risky journeys across the Mediterranean Sea in hopes of getting a better life in Europe.
To check the menace, Dogara, urged Italy to invest in the economy of Nigeria, stating, “the truth is that for us to deal with terrorism, illegal migration, trafficking and cross border crimes, we have to address the issue of bringing prosperity to sister countries so that citizens are catered for and jobs are provided.’’