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April 21, 2024
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Nigeria, UK commit to strengthening migration, fighting criminality

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By Chinenye Offor

The United Kingdom and Nigeria have made commitments to strengthen collaboration on migration and the fight against all forms of criminality.

This is contained in a communique from the recent Annual Migration, Justice, and Home Affairs dialogue, which was held in London.

The communique was signed by Atinuke Akande-Alegbe, Senior Communication Officer, British High Commission, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Akande-Alegbe said that the discussions reaffirmed the strong relationship between Nigeria and the UK, with commitments made across a range of priority areas of mutual interest.

According to her, the commendable collaboration between the two countries on migration and countering criminality in all its forms was acknowledged.

“In this spirit of collaboration, there was agreement to raise awareness of our respective internal systems and cultures within each country.

“Nigeria and the UK expressed mutual appreciation for ongoing efforts to prevent vulnerable young people from being engaged in criminality, intercepting and disrupting organised crime groups trafficking people and illicit commodities.

“They also agreed on new opportunities to work together to combat online fraud,” she said in the statement.

She added that both countries also recognised the need for improved engagement and information sharing between their respective governments and high commissions.

According to her, they expressed commitment to proactively engage with relevant authorities to resolve outstanding issues and promote their joint work to the public.

She also said that the significance of returning nationals with no right to remain in each other’s territories was mutually agreed upon, facilitated by the 2022 Memorandum of Understanding on Migration Partnership.

“Both sides pledged to explore a deeper migration partnership and welcomed progress towards a criminal record data-sharing arrangement through technical working groups, the latest of which took place on March 20.

“This work will form the foundations for a deeper relationship on criminal records data sharing,” she said.

The communication officer also said that the collaborative efforts of Nigeria and the UK on these issues underscored shared commitment to tackling crime and destabilising factors directly, highlighting the depth of the relationship between the two countries.

She added that both countries were committed to further meetings to assess progress on the commitments made ahead of the next annual talks and ongoing regular engagement.

She said that the next annual Migration, Justice, and Home Affairs talks would take place in 2025, and would be hosted by Nigeria.

Akande-Alegbe revealed that the next talks would include contributions and participation from all relevant ministries, departments, and agencies from Nigeria and the UK.

Meanwhile, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Richard Montgomery, expressed satisfaction at the partnership between Nigeria and the UK.

According to Montgomery, I am pleased that the UK-Nigeria partnership continues to grow, including on important issues of migration and countering criminality in all its forms.

“Last week, we reaffirmed our commitment to working closely together to disrupt organised crime groups who facilitate illicit trafficking, tackle illegal migration, and ensure that those with legitimate travel continue to visit our respective countries

“We look forward to building our partnership further on areas of mutual interest and ultimately making our countries safer for citizens,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Emmanuel Yashim

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