The deal will see the UK and Nigeria do more together to support legal migration, tackle illegal migration and speed up the removal of foreign criminals. The commitment is already delivering: 13 Nigerian foreign nationals with no right to be in the UK were removed on a chartered flight on 30 June.
After the flight departed Nigeria, it flew to Ghana where eight Ghanaian foreign nationals with no right to be in the UK were returned.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with Nigeria will also promote our shared bilateral economic interests. The deal delivers on the British people’s priority of controlling our borders and ensuring the immigration system is fair but firm.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
It is an important development that the UK and Nigeria have signed an agreement to co-operate on migration issues, to tackle illegal migration and the significant threat it poses to both nations.
The deal will mean that operational teams in both countries will share their expertise to take the fight to criminal people smugglers who are responsible for a wider range of criminality and put profit before people while undermining the security of our two countries. This landmark agreement will increase the deportation of dangerous foreign criminals to make our streets and country safer.
This is our New Plan for Immigration being put into action.
The Home Secretary and Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the UK, Sarafa Tunji Isola, are meeting today to discuss the two countries’ shared interests and growing collaboration.
Last year the Home Secretary travelled to Ghana for a two-day visit to deepen the UK-Ghana’s security partnership. Whilst there, Priti Patel unveiled the Home Office-funded Ghana Immigration Taskforce Office which works to tackle organised immigration crime. Today’s flight to Ghana shows the partnership in action; delivering for the British public.
The UK-Nigerian MoU will:
- promote the economic activities of citizens in both countries
- develop better working relationships and expertise on tackling illegal migration
- speed up the removal of FNOs from the UK to Nigeria and vice versa. (Through the agreement, emergency travel certificates or temporary passports will be issued to individuals being returned within five working days of receipt of their passport or biometric details)
- see the countries work together to support those who choose to come to each country legally and safely
Last week’s returns flight removed:
- 8 foreign national offenders to Nigeria
- 5 immigration offenders to Nigeria
- 3 foreign national offenders to Ghana
- 5 immigration offenders to Ghana
The foreign national offenders have combined prison sentences of more than 64 years.
The MoU follows a joint communique signed in February between the UK and Nigeria which strengthened their security and defence partnership and returns deals signed with Serbia and Albania. Last year the UK and India signed a ground breaking partnership migration deal which accelerates the removal of illegal migrants.
The recently enacted Nationality and Borders Act will also deter illegal entry into the UK, breaking the business model of people smuggling networks, and speed up the removal of those with no right to be in the UK.