Stefanou Pontesilli, Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, has disclosed that about 1500 Nigerians are serving jail terms for various offences in Italy.
Pontesilli said that the numbers of Nigerians in Italian jail his nothing to write home about, he made this known while speaking to newsmen in Abuja on Monday.
“In Italy we have about 1500 Nigerians in jail for various offences. It is a big number.
“We sometimes send them back to Nigeria once they finished their terms because they have not behaved well,” he said.
NAN reports that he refuted claims that Italy sometimes eject Nigerian migrants from Italy to Libya.
“Never, we never sent anyone not even one single person to Libya.
“Some Nigerians are stuck in Libya because they were never able to cross over to Italy, but all those who went to Italy no one, not even one was ever sent back.
“All Nigerians who have reached Italy and are behaving well have no problem.
“Not one of them not even one has heard of being sent back to Libya,” he said.
He revealed further that thousands of Nigerians are stuck in Libya as they are unable to cross over to Italy.
“Thank God the government is doing a lot to repatriate them through chattered flights.
“Thanks for the help from the European Union and the International Organisation for Migrations that are slowly repatriating them back to Nigeria,” he said.
Naija News understands that the diplomat reinstated the fact that relationship between Italy and Nigeria remained stronger, as the Italian government is making effort to help Nigeria to solve some of her security challenges.
“That is why Italy has been doing so much on the migration by saving tens and thousands of the Nigerians’ lives when crossing the Mediterranean.
“Authority has been doing so much by taking them to Italy, feeding them, getting them jobs, giving them house and trying to give them a new life,” Pontesilli said.
“This to Italy is very important, the stability and the security of Nigeria is our foremost consideration.
“We think that without a stable secure country there cannot be development.
“So that’s why we stand strongly behind President Muhammadu Buhari trying to establish a strong, safe and stable Nigeria.
“This to us is the number one priority of the country, we are doing all we can to support this,” he said.
The envoy disclosed that the Italian government had been involved in training many Nigerian officials from the military, police and immigration.