Nigeria, France forge strong alliance to combat illegal migration

In a concerted effort to combat illegal migration and enhance border security, Nigeria and France have solidified their partnership through the deployment of advanced technology and collaborative strategies.

The Ministry of Interior’s proactive approach to border management was underscored during a recent visit by a French government delegation led by His Excellency Christophe Léonzi, Ambassador in charge of Migration at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

The Nigerian Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, emphasized Nigeria’s commitment to curbing illegal migration while fostering international cooperation.

During the meeting, Dr. Tunji-Ojo highlighted the gravity of illegal migration, particularly in relation to Europe’s proximity to Africa, stating, “An African problem is more of a European problem… It means that the more we invest our energy and efforts into proactive strategies, the better it is for us.”

The discussions focused on leveraging technology, such as enhanced visa application processes and access to INTERPOL data, to strengthen border controls and security measures. Automation and improved data-sharing capabilities are key components of Nigeria’s efforts to enhance border management and curb illicit activities.

In response, Ambassador Christophe Léonzi emphasized the visit’s objective of fostering bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and France in combating illegal migration. This partnership reflects a shared commitment to addressing migration challenges through dialogue, cooperation, and joint initiatives.

Prior to the meeting with the French delegation, Minister Tunji-Ojo engaged with the Technical Committee on the Enhancement of Security in the North, led by Major General A.T. Jibrin (rtd), underscoring Nigeria’s broader efforts to strengthen national security.

Reflecting on progress since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assumed office, Minister Tunji-Ojo acknowledged positive developments in the security landscape, highlighting tangible improvements while acknowledging ongoing challenges.

The engagement underscores Nigeria’s proactive approach to border security and migration management, emphasizing the importance of international collaboration and technological innovation in addressing complex migration dynamics. Through strategic partnerships and continuous dialogue, Nigeria and France are poised to advance shared objectives in combating illegal migration and enhancing regional security.

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