Progress in the migration partnership between Switzerland and Nigeria, also in the area of asylum and returns

Today Switzerland and Nigeria have held talks on the migration partnership between the two countries, on the occasion of the visit to Switzerland of Nigerian Secretary of State Martin Uhomoibhi. The discussions covered joint activities and projects in various areas, such as police cooperation and cooperation with the Nigerian diaspora in the area of professional training. The action plan presented by Switzerland with regard to asylum and returns was accepted by Nigeria.

At the heart of this meeting was the issue of irregular migration and its consequences for both countries. The discussions have also revealed the development of the migration partnership and the progress made in numerous projects.

In spring the Federal Office for Migration (FOM) introduced an accelerated asylum procedure for Nigerian asylum seekers. In this context, the action plan seeks to increase the frequency of hearings, with closer cooperation in relation to returns, and awareness campaigns on the risks of irregular migration.

A dozen projects

The migration partnership seeks not only to prevent irregular migration but also to tackle a range of migration-related issues. Since 2011 around a dozen projects have been implemented within the framework of the Switzerland-Nigeria migration partnership. In addition, Switzerland and Nigeria are working together in multilateral institutions, such as the second UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, to be held next October within the framework of the 68th session of the UN General Assembly. The Nigerian diaspora in Switzerland has also been invited to participate in a professional training programme in Nigeria.

Switzerland also supports Nigeria in implementing the Kampala Convention for the protection of internally displaced persons in Africa.

In the area of regular migration, five young polytechnicians from Nestlé Nigeria are currently participating in a three-month training programme with Nestlé Switzerland.

Regarding the fight against drug-trafficking, 28 agents from Nigeria’s National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have been cooperating with their Swiss counterparts, i.e. the Swiss Border Guard and the police forces of nine cantons. Six Nigerian agents have also been trained in the detection of false documents. A system to detect false ID documents is also being installed in Lagos.

The Swiss delegation was led by the Director of the FOM, Mario Gattiker, and the Head of the Sub-Saharan Africa and Francophonie Division of the FDFA, Claude Altermatt. The Nigerian delegation was placed under the leadership of Martin Uhomoibhi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of Foreign Affairs. The next meeting of the Technical Committee will be in held in 2014 in Abuja.