The European Union on Monday said 7,436 Nigerians crossed illegally into Europe in the second quarter of 2015.
Mr Richard Young, EU Deputy Head of Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, made this known on the sideline of a news briefing on migration in Abuja.
According to Young, the figure was the number of irregular migrants that were officially recorded by the EU Border Agency, Frontex. He said that out of the 7,436 immigrants, 7,124 illegally crossed through the sea borders into Europe during the period.
“In this situation, they are referred to as irregular immigrants in the sense that they crossed the border illegally but may have a right of asylum.
“After all investigations are done and it is found that they do not have the right of asylum, then they are referred to as illegal immigrants,” he explained.
The envoy disclosed that EU had earmarked 1.8 billion pounds to set up an emergency trust fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa.
According to him, the fund is set up to address the crises in the regions of the Sahel and Lake Chad, the Horn of Africa and North Africa.
In an earlier address with newsmen, a senior EU official said the fund made available by member states was aimed at fostering stability and contributing to better migration management in Africa.
“We have invited African countries we have agreements with on migration; half of them would be represented at the levels of Heads of State and Government while the others would be represented at the ministerial levels.
“Out of 28 EU member states, 22 will be represented at the Heads of States and Governments,” the official said.
He added that the African Union, ECOWAS and other regional economic communities across Africa would also be represented at the summit.