The German government, under increasing pressure to curb irregular migration, is exploring unconventional measures to deter asylum-seekers.
The latest proposal comes from Christian Lindner, leader of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), whose party has experienced a significant decline in voter support.
Lindner’s proposal, which involves examining the possibility of preventing asylum-seekers from sending benefits back to their home countries, has raised questions about its feasibility and impact.
Lindner’s proposal aims to stop asylum-seekers from remitting their benefits in cash, instead suggesting payment in kind through a payment card.
The idea is to redirect the benefits to government coffers and minimize the potential for corruption and revenue leakage.
However, some experts and critics have expressed doubts about the effectiveness and legality of such a policy.
Matthias Lücke, a migration expert, questioned the assumption that small benefit amounts would serve as a significant “pull-factor” for asylum-seekers.
He also criticized the proposal from a moral standpoint. Tobias Heidland, an economics professor, argued that such restrictions could hinder integration and participation in society.
Furthermore, concerns were raised about the practicality of preventing asylum-seekers from accessing cash, as they could use payment cards to purchase and sell goods.
This might inadvertently strengthen informal cash transfer networks that could be associated with criminal activity.
While the proposal has been met with skepticism, it reflects ongoing debates around migration policy and the role of remittances in global economic flows.
Remittances are a significant source of income for many developing countries and play a crucial role in poverty alleviation, nutrition improvement, and education access. Any policy attempting to restrict or tax remittances should consider the broader impact on migrants and their families.
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Nigeria to Implement Biometric Clearance Gates at International Airports by March 2024
Nigeria is gearing up to introduce a significant upgrade to its airport security measures with the implementation of biometric clearance gates at international airports by March 2024.
This move aims to streamline passenger processing and bolster national security efforts.
Under the plan, five major international airports across Nigeria, including the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, and Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, will be equipped with biometric clearance gates.
These gates will utilize advanced technology to provide seamless clearance services for passengers entering the country.
Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, emphasized that the installation of biometric gates reflects Nigeria’s commitment to enhancing border control management and adhering to global best practices.
The gates are expected to significantly reduce clearance times, with a passenger clearing in just 30 seconds.
Tunji-Ojo highlighted the gates’ dual purpose: expediting passenger processing while also enhancing national security by allowing for quick identification of persons of interest.
The initiative aligns with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, aiming to provide quality services to Nigerians while ensuring national security.
This modernization effort is poised to address long-standing issues of delays and improve the overall travel experience for passengers at Nigeria’s international airports.
Foreign Embassies Given Two Weeks to Settle $5.36M in Ground Rents
The Nigerian Government has issued a firm ultimatum to 43 foreign embassies and diplomatic houses in Abuja, the nation’s capital, demanding the settlement of outstanding ground rents totaling $5.36 million within two weeks.
In an official advertorial published by the Federal Capital Territory Administration in the Newspaper, the government emphasized the urgency of the matter.
Failure to comply within the stipulated period could result in the revocation of the rent titles held by the diplomatic entities.
The notice serves as a final warning to embassies, including prominent ones like the British High Commission, South African High Commission, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, and the Embassy of Japan, among others.
These embassies and diplomatic entities have been identified as defaulters in the payment of their ground rents.
This directive underscores the Nigerian government’s commitment to ensuring compliance with legal obligations and financial commitments within its jurisdiction, regardless of the status of the entities involved.
The ultimatum is reminiscent of a similar notice issued last September to organizations in Abuja, emphasizing the importance of timely payment of annual rents.
The consequence of non-compliance, as stated in the notice, is the potential revocation of land titles.
The deadline creates a sense of urgency among the affected diplomatic missions, as failure to meet the payment deadline could lead to diplomatic tensions and logistical challenges for the embassies involved.
As the clock ticks, attention is focused on how these foreign embassies will respond to the Nigerian government’s ultimatum and whether they will meet the financial obligations within the stipulated timeframe.
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