This report analyses migration politics in Nigeria, where there is growing concern about the high levels of irregular migration and human trafficking. The research follows a holistic understanding of migration, encompassing diaspora migration, irregular migration, displaced people, Nigerian refugees and asylum seekers, refugees and asylum seekers from other countries in Nigeria and immigration (primarily from neighbouring Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries). It analyses these forms of migration on three levels—governance, political stakes and societal discourse.
The high number of Nigerian asylum seekers in Europe is a concern for the European Union (EU) and its member states. Hence, Nigeria is one of the priority countries to be selected for the implementation of the EU Migration Partnership Framework (MPF). However, The MPF is failing because of the difference in interests between the EU and Nigeria. The EU wants the return of Nigerians (irregular migrants, including failed asylum seekers). The EU’s interest, however, does not live up to what Nigeria wants, which is to see regular migration pathways and sustainable developmental support. The continued domination of the EU’s interest in asylum situation with less regard for Nigeria’s interest may lead to Nigeria showing less interest in Nigerian asylum seekers in Europe and cooperating less with the EU on the return of Nigerians from the EU by EU member states.