Edo governor’s wife blames leadership, poverty for irregular migration
Wife of Edo State governor, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, has blamed irregular migration among youths in the country on poverty, greed and bad governance. She disclosed this yesterday in Benin City during an ActionAid Nigeria project themed ‘Dissemination of the Creation of Alternatives to Migration through Socio-economic Development’.
The event was organised in partnership with ActionAid Italy and Italian Ministry of Interior, to assist deported irregular migrants set up their own businesses.According to Mrs. Obaseki, despite the huge natural resources of the country, poverty has continued to push many youths to seek greener pastures in foreign countries through the land and sea, not minding the risks involved.
“It is poverty that has made many to go out of the state. Those who had decent lives but decided to go out to make more dollars to come and build houses are greedy. Some were lured away in ignorance; but when they got there, they discovered a different story.“So, poverty is responsible, and who is responsible for it? Government! If past governments had done well, we would not have had this problem of irregular migration. People leave the country because they have no hope, no form of livelihood, nothing to do, because of failure in managing the resources.
“It is bad management of the resources God has given us by past governments that caused all this, and so we must tackle it, because there is nowhere better than home,” Obaseki said.Country Director of ActionAid, Mrs. Ene Obi, who was represented by the Director of Programmes, Mrs. Tasallah Chibok, noted that unemployment was one of the main causes of forced migration.
She said the objective of the project was to contribute to improved socio-economic conditions of young people, for them to make informed and voluntary choices, instead of being forced by economic and security factors to migrate.“Current statistics show that over 50 per cent of Nigerian youths are either unemployed or underemployed. Fact remains that Nigeria is ranked fifth in the world for the number of citizens migrating to Europe in search of better living conditions or to escape poverty and conflicts.”
“The creation of alternative to migration through socio-economic development, sensitisation and conflict prevention project implemented specifically to tackle the root of irregular migration, through unemployment, by training and equipping 2000 youths in various trades,” Obi said.