The International Organization for Migration, IOM, has warned potential migrants to be wary of a syndicate that specializes in providing false employment letters to Nigerians looking to work in the United Kingdom, UK.

The IOM urged Nigerians to acquire correct information before embarking on any migration, revealing that over 260,000 Nigerians addressed it in 2023, seeking help on how to move through regular or allowed channels, as well as undergoing Pre-Departure Medical Health Assessments.

It stated that over 1,000 Nigerians were currently stranded in the UK after obtaining visas based on bogus employment letters obtained for them, only to be denied admission since the letters did not originate from those organizations.

IOM’s Chief of Mission, Mr. Laurent De Boeck, disclosed this at a news conference, yesterday in Abuja.

According to him, some of the victims lost as high as $10,000 each, in their desperate attempts to secure foreign jobs.

He said they are currently stranded in the UK because some of them lacked the means to come back while some were ashamed of coming back to their families.

“There are some of them who lost over $10,000 only to be given fake employment letters which allowed them to get visas. They get there, present the letters and the organisations would tell them that the letters did not emanate from the organisations. Over a thousand people are affected,” he stated.

De Boeck added that IOM was working with partners to repatriate thousands of persons, including Nigerians, from Tunisia, which had recently placed a ban on migration.

He said the IOM was working extensively with Italy to develop regular pathways for qualified Nigerians and that it would also engage other countries like Spain, Belgium, France and others.

On displacements, De Boeck said there had been about 30 percent annual increase for the past five years in many states of the North West.

Noting that Zamfara remained the most impacted in this regard, he said the incident of banditry and other crimes were fueling the increase.

“In Kano, people are displaced within and there are others who have migrated, which is why our offices in Libya and Niger have more migrants originating from Kano,” he stated.

He said in 2023, IOM played a crucial role in addressing the shelter needs of 71,666 individuals affected by conflicts and environmental hazards.




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