by Lekan Olanrewaju
According to a new report released by the UN refugee agency, about 10,500 Nigerians last year sought asylum in developed countries. This is an increase from the 9,500 in 2010. These statistics placed Nigeria 10th on the list of asylum seekers in the world’s richest countries.
According to the report, 2,876 Nigerians claimed asylum in Italy in 2011 as opposed to 1,165 in 2010. In Switzerland received 1,303 applications for asylum from Nigerians, while the UK received 1,055, and the U.S received 257.
The UN report noted that asylum seekers from other African countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Libya and Syria reached record levels in 2011 with 16,700 more applications than in 2010.
The report surveyed asylum applications to 44 industrialised countries, and noted that overall, applications had risen from 386,000 in 2010 to 441,300 in 2011, which represents a 20 per cent increase and is the highest since 2003.