No, Trudeau hasn’t begged Nigeria to send a million immigrants to Canada

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An article shared more than 3,000 times on Facebook and Twitter claims that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has begged President Muhammadu Buhari to send one million Nigerian immigrants to the North American country. This is false. The Canadian High Commission in Nigeria has dismissed the claim, though it said Nigerians are welcome to apply to immigrate to Canada through existing channels.

The article, published by a website named CBTV on April 14, claimed Trudeau had asked Buhari to send the Nigerians to Canada under “a new Employment and Migration Programme designed for immigrants”.

The post, which we've archived here, has been shared almost 2,500 times on Facebook, according to social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle. It was shared on multiple pages, including the Yellow Vests Canada group, which has more than 100,000 members.

A screenshot taken on April 17, 2019 shows the post as shared on the Yellow Vests Canada Facebook group

Dele Momodu, a popular Nigerian journalist and former presidential candidate, posted the same link on Twitter and was retweeted more than 500 times.

However, the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria has swiftly moved to debunk the story.

“This particular story is FALSE,” the High Commission tweeted. But it added that “Nigerians are welcome to apply to immigrate to Canada” through the existing channels.

The “one million” figure appears to have been drawn from the announcement in January that Canada wanted to add one million new permanent residents over the next three years.

The Canadian Federal Skilled Worker programme, which allows people with sought-after skills or work experience to immigrate to Canada, is very popular in Nigeria, especially among the middle classes.

In Canada’s 2016 census, 42,430 people identified themselves as Nigerian immigrants, of whom almost half (20,630) lived in Ontario.