Jideofor Adibe1, Mohammed Bello Baban’umma2 & Ezike Henry Chigozie Prince3
1, 2 & 3Department of Political Science, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria
Corresponding Author’s Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Illegal migration poses significant challenges, straining economies, and endangering lives. Nigeria grapples with these issues, with citizens seeking better prospects in Europe. Human trafficking, exploitation, and border control inefficiencies heighten risks. Nigeria’s policy response involves diplomatic cooperation, awareness campaigns, and economic reforms to illegal migration, emphasizing regional collaboration for lasting solutions. This paper examines the nature of illegal migration of Nigerians to Europe and Nigeria’s policy response. The study adopted qualitative method of data collection. Findings of the study show that over 5.8 million Nigerian men, women, and children are migrants in Europe. Majority of Nigerians who left the country illegally used the Central Mediterranean Sea en route to reach Italy, Spain, and other European nations. Findings also revealed that thousands of Nigerian youths have left the country as a result of these socio-economic issues, including a lack of employment opportunities, low pay or wages, poverty, failing health care system, failing educational system, unfavourable working conditions, and a high cost of living. The study recommends among others, that Nigeria’s policy response should prioritize addressing socioeconomic disparities, unemployment, and insecurity within the country to discourage citizens from seeking illegal migration as a solution. Secondly, Nigeria should enhance cooperation with European nations to combat illegal migration through intelligence sharing, joint law enforcement efforts, and support for repatriation programs.