The United Kingdom Government has decided to deport 29,000 Nigerians over its new migration and removal policy, says the Nigerian High Commission to the UK.
The Acting Nigerian High Commissioner in London, Olukunle Bamgbose, said this in his office, while fielding questions from State House correspondents covering Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s visit to London.
The Ambassador, said the migration policy came about following the migration crisis created by troubled regions in the world.
“I think about 29,000 Nigerians have been designated to be deported.
“We are insisting that due process must be followed before Nigerians are really removed from the UK to Nigeria.”
He further gave conditions that should be met by the UK immigration office before the high commission can accept the migration and deportation agenda.
He said: “First, we must ensure that they are really Nigerians, they are medically fit to travel, all the legal processes must have been completed and that they have a role to play in Nigeria.
“You do not expect someone who has not been to Nigeria for 30 years to 40 years and does not have any family and you want to deport him.
“He will constitute social problems to us in Nigeria.
“So these are the sore points at this moment that we have.”
More so, Bamgbose noted that in spite of the challenge, the relationship between Nigeria and UK had deepened, adding that the UK is ready to engage with Nigerians in various aspects in defence, immigration, trade and investment.
He said: “In 2012 trade volume between the two countries was about four billion pounds, which has doubled now.
“But with what we now, have British investors are ready to move into Nigeria in a massive way.
“I expect that in the next two to three years the trade volume will triple and go to about £12 billion or even more.”
Bamgbose attributed the rise to the new confidence the foreign investors had in Nigeria and the new administration.
He said: “The willingness of the British businessmen to even want to come to Nigeria is very important.
“Because, hitherto, the way we were running the government they did not have that confidence in government.
“They are not really sure whether they can go into Nigeria and invest.
“Now with the new administration, what they believe the new administration can do and the fidelity with which the new administration has brought to governance that is the first thing.
“You have to have the confidence of those who are going to Nigeria to invest and I think with what is going on now they are very confident that they can go into Nigeria and invest.”
The Envoy said the confidence also elevated the level of diplomatic service of the country.
He said: “But since the new administration came in we have found our bounce.
“There is that diplomatic bounce once again.
“One, the Federal Government has taken the bash on the Boko Haram.
“They are being decimated.
“Also the energy problem is being addressed frontally.
“Also again the issue of graft is also being addressed.
“We have found our bounce and as diplomats here we are going to engage our colleagues from other countries without necessarily being apologetic by our country.”
Bamgbose recalled that when Osinbajo met with some members of parliament, he was told that there are British businessmen, who are interested in investing up to £1.8 billion in Nigeria.
“That is huge but it is because of the confidence that they have in the leadership of the new administration in Nigeria,” he said.