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Austria To Train, Repatriate 1,000 Nigerians



Prior to the plan repatriation of over 1,000 irregular Nigerian migrants, the government of Austria says it has concluded plans to train affected persons in various empowerment skills as a farewell package aimed at putting food on their table and make them independent on return.

It country’s Director General, International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), Michael Spindelegger unveiled the plan during  a courtesy visit to the minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama , explaining that Nigeria would be used as a pilot case before the gesturecwould be extended to other African countries.

Spindelegger  disclosed that the idea is directed at helping to combine future investments in Nigeria with the return of irregular migrants.

ICMPD’s boss  noted that several of its companies are interested in investing in Nigeria because of its market.

He said, ‘“The idea is to train these irregular migrants before repatriating them so that when they come back, they will have something to do instead of becoming liabilities.

According to him  “The idea is also to encourage more Austrian companies to come invest in Nigeria so that they also can contribute to solving the problem of unemployment and irregular migration.”

He said that the programme is  to prepare migrants for gainful employment in companies which some Austrian companies were to set up later in Nigeria.

“The centre director-general said that the proposed programme would facilitate reversed migration of the irregular migrants, who had no likelihood of being given legal residents in Austria .he added”

Spindelegger explained that though there is provision for asylum in Europe, a situation where an immigrant fails to secure asylum, the person will be deported at the long run.

“For them, there is no chance of remaining in the country, because once they are picked, they will not be allowed to take anything, but would be brought back to their country empty. He noted.

His words, “There are no fewer than 1,000 Nigerians that are not granted refugees status living in Austria.

Spindelegger said, “though, only few Austrian companies are currently in Nigeria, efforts are being made to convince most companies involved in the programme to come and invest in Nigeria.”

“It is also part of the programme. They can get benefits from the European Union for the investment, which serves as more business security for them.” he stated.

Responding, minister of Foreign Affairs , Onyeama expressed optimism that the initiative would not only have Nigerians coming back home to contribute to national development, but also to benefit from foreign investors.

He assured the delegation that Nigeria was in full support of the scheme and would ensure its success.

The minister averred that government had made huge investment on social intervention programmes and was having such similar scheme partnership with Germany.