This year alone over 40,000 migrants have crossed theMediterranean, many of them are Nigerians. The BBC's Martin Patience has been to Nigeria's Benin City where many of the migrants start their journey.
It was the most difficult decision Kelvin Imasuen ever made - he would risk everything in a bid to reach Europe.
"I just had the belief I would get there," he told me, sitting outside his mother's dilapidated home on the outskirts of Benin City.
But he was to learn the cost of the dangerous journey in the most devastating way.
Kelvin hoped to go to university, but after his father died the family was plunged into poverty. Kelvin was barely scraping together a living working at a building site.
He was earning at most $2 (£1.55) a day and he says he could not afford the university fees.
Instead, like tens of thousands of other Nigerians hoping to reach Europe, the 26-year-old along with his sister, Augustina, boarded a mini-bus to the north of the country.
Once they arrived in the city of Kano they crossed into Niger and reached the main trafficking hub of Agadez, the gateway to the Sahara.
Kelvin told me they sewed dollar notes into their clothes so that even if soldiers and border-guards robbed them they would not lose all their cash.
He saw migrants die in the desert.
"People were just collapsing," he said. "There was no food and no water. There were too many people packed into the jeeps that took us through the desert."
Despite the dangers, Kelvin and his sister pushed on, in search of a better life. Like many Nigerians they were in search of jobs and opportunities.
Finally, they reached the Libyan Coast. Europe, their dream destination, was just a boat ride away.
One night, last July, hundreds of migrants were loaded onto inflatable boats on a Libyan beach.
According to Kelvin it was chaotic. Gunfire broke out after the traffickers argued. He said four migrants were shot dead.
"There were about 150 people in each boat. They were overloaded."
He was in one inflatable, his sister in another. As the boats pushed out iourcento the darkness of the Mediterranean, it was the last time he would ever see her.
Augustina drowned after her boat capsized. The 28-year-old nurse left behind a young daughter.
"She was a jovial person," Kelvin told me. "She loved everyone. She was making about $15 a month. It was not enough for her to pay for her daughter's school fees."
Their mother, Charity, still cannot accept her daughter is not coming back.
"I would have asked her not to go," she said. "I still don't know whether she is alive or dead."
Meanwhile, Kelvin had a lucky escape. Along with dozens of other migrants, he bobbed about in the Mediterranean Sea for four days after their engine failed.
Source BBC News.