Belgium's Immigration Office is aiming to prevent irregular migration to Nigeria, given that asylum applications from Nigerian nationals have risen from 181 to 352 between 2019 and 2022, the cabinet of state secretary for Asylum and Migration Nicole de Moor announced.
Around 96% of Nigerian applicants are considered not in need of protection and should return to their country, explained De Moor in a press release published on Friday. "Nigerians have little chance of obtaining asylum in our country, and we want to use a prevention campaign to stop people from making the dangerous crossing."
In addition to exploring the risks associated with irregular migration, the campaign aims to draw attention to the many economic opportunities that exist in Nigeria and to show that the possibilities of obtaining asylum in Belgium are virtually non-existent. The campaign will be broadcast on the radio, in newspapers, on billboards and social media. Awareness-raising campaigns will also be run in schools.
A telephone helpline will be set up to direct callers to local economic opportunities. These opportunities will also be presented on a website. De Moor also met the Nigerian ambassador to Brussels in July to discuss closer cooperation on the return of illegal residents.