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37,000 Nigerians migrated to Italy in 2016, says Laura Boldrini

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President of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini

No fewer than 37, 000 Nigerians migrated to Italy in 2016, according to the President of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini.Boldrini who made this known during a courtesy visit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara yesterday, expressed support for a unified effort by both Nigeria and Italy to check the ugly trend and terrorism.

Boldrini who did not specify as to whether the immigrants entered Italy legally or not remarked that Italy stands by Nigeria’s side to combat terrorism even as it appreciates ongoing effort to tackle the menace since it remains a threat to the entire world.

Commending President Muhammadu Buhari for the rescue of 82 girls who were kidnapped from Chibok, Borno State three years ago, she expressed willingness of Italy’s parliament to collaborate with its Nigerian counterpart to address the challenges faced by victims displaced by Boko Haram attacks, as well as the trafficking of people, especially young girls and women, to Italy.

Boldrini also said that she was concerned that “UN agencies, working to provide aid for IDPs, are suffering because of lack of aid. It is important that the international community continues to fund, to get resources for those in need so that they don’t cut aid for victims of terrorism in this country,” she said.

Dogara who expressed appreciation over her visit, stressed the need for the education and economic empowerment of citizenry.Calling for partnership between the two countries to stop the tide of illegal immigration and terrorism in Nigeria, he said one of the ways the feat can be achieved is through economic development, which is a sure way to empower people to get out of poverty and resist the lure to engage in crime or risk travelling to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea.

He further added that it is the quest for a better life that motivates Nigerians and other nationalities to embark on risky journeys across the Mediterranean Sea in hopes of getting a better life in Europe.

To check the menace, Dogara, urged Italy to invest in the economy of Nigeria, stating, “the truth is that for us to deal with terrorism, illegal migration, trafficking and cross border crimes, we have to address the issue of bringing prosperity to sister countries so that citizens are catered for and jobs are provided.’’

He called for more world partnership in the fight against terrorism, as well as the donation of aid for resettlement of displaced persons and victims of terrorism, saying democracy is a way of governance that caters for all.

The two heads of parliament visited an Internally Displaced Persons camp in Kuchigoro, Abuja, where they had a first hand view of their living conditions, after which the Italian parliament president promised to offer assistance to the IDPs.

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