German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has once again called for a closer partnership to manage migration during his visit to the West African country of Nigeria.
Speaking at an economic forum in the coastal metropolis of Lagos on Monday, he stressed that in addition to facilitating the repatriation of Nigerians without the right to stay in Germany, the immigration of skilled workers must also be promoted.
To this end, migration centres that have been established in Nigeria to support returnees from Germany are to be expanded.
According to Scholz, in the future, they should also take care of advising skilled workers who want to gain a foothold in Germany.
“This requires some preparation and investment – on both sides,” the German chancellor said. He had spoken about this with Nigerian President Bola Tinubu on Sunday, he added.
“I am convinced that this is another area where we can exploit enormous potential arising from closer cooperation between our two countries and between our two continents,” Scholz said.
On Sunday, Tinubu had shown himself open to taking back refugees. Asked what he expected from Germany in return, he said at a joint press conference with Scholz: “I am not making any demand.”
If they are Nigerians, he said, they are welcome at home.
The problem, however, is establishing their identity. Of the almost 14,000 asylum seekers from Nigeria who are obliged to leave Germany, about 12,500 are tolerated, mostly because they have no identity papers.
A visit to a migration centre is on Scholz’s agenda for Monday in Lagos, which with 20 million inhabitants is one of the largest cities in the world.
In the evening, Scholz plans to travel on to Ghana, the second stop on his three-day trip.