The Nigerian Foreign Ministry has called on Italian government authorities to stop humiliating Nigerian immigrants seeking greener pastures in Italy.

The government urged Italy to ensure that Nigerian immigrants in that country were treated with dignity and respect.

Italy has become the major arrival point for Nigerian migrants en route to Europe, most of them crossing the Mediterranean from Libya.

But in recent time, Italy and other European countries, in a coordinated move, have deported hundreds of Nigerians for various immigration offences.

Geoffery Onyeama – Nigeria’s Foreign Minister

The Foreign Ministry called on the Italian government to ensure that immigrants due for deportation are ‘medically fit’ and returned home with dignity, Daily Trust reports.

The ministry’s permanent secretary, Sola Enikanolaiye, stated this when the outgoing Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Fulvio Rustico paid him a courtesy call in Abuja.

A statement by Acting Spokesperson of the ministry, Jane Adams said Enikanolaiye thanked the Italian envoy for his pivotal role in the implementation of agreement on Migration between both countries.

The Italian envoy, according to the statement, extolled the six-decade bilateral relations between Nigeria and Italy, saying the ties was re-launched through high-level exchange of visits by most senior government officials of both countries.

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Ponte Galeria – Italy’s detention centre in Rome

He expressed satisfaction over the increasing bilateral trade volume between both countries, stressing that Italy was positioned to engage in industrial development of Nigeria, including agriculture and oil & gas.

He said the enormous investment potentials in Nigeria has made it a priority for Italy’s investment hub.

TERROR attacks across Europe sparked a new push to see illegal immigrants sent home from Italy as the police were told to toughen up on refugees in 2017.

A two-page directive was reportedly sent out to police stations across Italy ordering officers to increase efforts to deport economic migrants.

The document was drafted by chief of police Franco Gabrielli and part-published in Italian newspaper Courier della Sera.

Indicating fear of terror in Europe, the notice says the change is important to battle “a growing migratory pressure and an international context marked by instability and threats”.

Plans were to open 16 detention centres for migrants under new rules where those detained will stay until deportation can be arranged.

Europhile Matteo Renzi said he could manage integration in Italy and refused investment in detention centres where conditions are being reported as appalling and inhumane.

It is however not clear if the Italian envoy responded to the remark about Nigerian nationals in Italy.

So far over a hundred Nigerians have been deported from Italy in 2017 on accusations of offenses ranging from drugs dealing to immigration offenses.

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