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Support African migrants’ stay by creating jobs, investments, President Buhari urges France

President Buhari 30

At the Paris Peace Forum, President of Nigeria, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) has encouraged the French government to offer more jobs and investment opportunities in order to retain the millions of African migrants who arrive in France each year.

As he stated, persons seeking employment in Nigeria from France are now welcomed with open arms.

In an opinion piece titled ‘Expanding the Frontiers of Relations Between Nigeria and France’ published in the French journal L’Opinion on Friday, Buhari stated this.

In his piece, the President said “The French President’s high-level France-Nigeria Business Council, first convened at the Elysee, has helped trade double in between our nations in the last three years.

“This expansion only augurs more, given Nigeria’s population is projected to grow by 2050 to the same size as the European Union, and further to become the second-largest in the world by the close of the century.

“This great market is France’s opportunity. But, of course, some in Europe and France see it purely as a threat.

“They fear a coming tide of immigrants from Africa. They view engagement as a partially open door that will only become wider–unless borders become walls, and Europe a fortress.

Those who rail against “economic migrants” must realise few people anywhere wish to leave their communities to live in foreign lands.

“Most would rather stay at home, with the familiar. But the way to help them stay there is not force, or walls, or racism: it is investment and jobs where they live.”

He further said those who come from France seeking opportunities in Nigeria are today welcomed with open arms. Adding that “a growing and worldly-wise middle class wish to experience the best of European culture and products, with so much of that the produce of France; a young, restless, and educated population wish to work, but often what they do not have, through lack of investment, is the opportunity.”

Buhari further said; “Just as we partner in prosperity, so our nations also have a duty to work together to make West Africa more secure. For decades France–the European power in the Sahel, and Nigeria–the African power to its south have not been coordinated.”

In terms of safety, the President stated that the both nations have squandered just as many chances to combat terrorism..

He urged that “as France draws down its troops, Nigeria’s can–in partnership with our Francophone African allies-step into the breach.

“From our increasing trade together comes another beneficial and deepening partnership and cooperation including especially a more advanced sharing of ordnance, equipment and intelligence.”

He added that French-Nigerian relations have advanced farther and faster in the last few years than they have in hundreds.

“Much of that energy, and speed, comes from my determination and that of President Macron in the knowledge that–to borrow a phrase of King Henry’s: ‘Le Nigeria vaut bien essayé’.”


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