EU, World Bank, NAPTIP hail Edo government on campaign against human trafficking
The stakeholders poured the encomia at the second Roundtable Dialogue on Managing Migration through Development Programme (MMDP), a two-day event that kicked off yesterday in Benin City, the state capital.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo said that all efforts by local and international partners in the fight against irregular migration needed synergy to achieve the desired results.
A coordination matrix designed by Edo government and her partners, according to Obaseki, will create a platform for better collaboration and cooperation among stakeholders, to avoid duplication of efforts and improve efficiency in migration management.
“Since the launch of the Round Table Dialogue in Abuja in May this year, several partnerships have been birthed, which have contributed to the success stories,” he disclosed.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who was represented by Martin Eze, said that “resettlement of returnees is at the heart of the federal government’s intervention programme.”
He appealed to foreign partners, especially EU countries, to smoothen their visa issuance process, so that eligible Nigerians, who have genuine reasons to travel, are not frustrated.
In his keynote address, EU Ambassador to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr. Ketil Karlsen, appreciated the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Obaseki, which saw Nigeria drop to the sixth position among countries whose citizens irregularly migrate.
He added that European Investment Bank (EIB) is willing to increase funding for economic programmes in Africa to $1 billion, to empower youths and discourage illegal migration.
Director-general of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli, represented by the director of Research and Programme Development, Godwin Morka, urged other states to copy Edo’s model and replicate it in their states.
Programme manager, MMDP, Dr. May Ikeora, said that government’s response to mitigating illegal migration include resettlement of migrant returnees, skills development, and development of at-risk communities.
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