- Nigerians have been ranked high amongst people seeking asylum worldwide, especially in Europe and other developed nations in 2008, the Global statistics of asylum seekers released by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, (UNHCR) has shown.
According to the UNHCR report, the leading country with asylum applicants in 2008 was Iraq followed by Somalia. But it said Nigeria was listed among the countries recording a significant rise of more than 70 percent only in 2008.
The report has categorised the nations with the rising numbers of asylum seekers as those that have experienced unrest or conflicts in 2008.
Nigeria which has made it in the top 10 list of people seeking asylum, has emerged number one in Italy and Ireland, according to the report.
“In Italy last year alone, there were 5,333 new asylum seekers from Nigeria and 1,008 in Ireland. Italy was also the country with the highest number of Nigerians seeking asylum last year alone,” it said.
According to the report, last year, 970 Nigerians sought asylum in the United Kingdom, 765 in Canada, 801 in Spain, 500 in Germany, 535 in Austria, 746 in Greece, 436 in Norway, 223 in Malta and 988 in Switzerland.
Nigerians also made the top 10 in countries like Slovenia where seven Nigerians sought asylum, Poland, where 19 sought asylum, 27 in Republic of Korea - that is South Korea, eight in Portugal, 56 in Hungary, 18 in Bulgaria, 76 in Finland and 42 in the Czech Republic.
There were also five Nigerians who sought asylum in the extremely cold country of Iceland, the report said.
The report covered 51 industrialised countries which provided monthly data to the UNHCR.
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