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Obaseki, Benin monarch task French government on illegal migration, return of artifacts

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Godwin Obaseki

Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has reassured that his administration will continue to focus on human capital development to reduce youth unemployment and tackle illegal migration.

Obaseki gave the assurance yesterday when the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquier, visited him at the Government House in Benin City.

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He commended the French Government for collaborating with his government to effectively reduce illegal migration in the state.

“We thank you for your support on irregular migration. Our focus is an aggressive fight against the scourge. We have done a lot and we have data on each batch of returnees to know what is driving this issue with a plan on stopping the scourge.

“We need to put measures in place to prevent and fight the scourge. We also have to focus on enforcement, but beyond enforcement, we need to focus on human capital development, supporting job creation, and improving livelihoods.

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Speaking, Pasquier commended Governor Obaseki’s commitment, courage, and determination in the fight against irregular migration.

“We know that there is a serious problem in human trafficking in Nigeria, France, and other European countries, with Edo State being the worst hit in Nigeria.

“We also know that you are conscious of the challenge and active in fighting the scourge. We have to work on all aspects of prevention including fighting the gang responsible for illegal migration. I know you are much involved in the fight and we have much to do,” he stated.

“The solution to the problem is to fight poverty and create jobs. That is why we have decided to work with EdoJobs. We are impressed with the work you are doing in job creation, which is the best way out of the economic situation in Nigeria,” he added.

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BESIDES, the French Government has pledged to partner with the Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo, Oba Ewuare II, for repatriation of Benin artifacts, which were looted from the kingdom decades ago.

Pasquier disclosed this when he and some top officials of the French Embassy visited the Benin monarch at his palace, adding that the French Government was determined to eliminate all forms of discrimination and assist Africans to return their cultural heritage through dialogue.

While commending the Benin monarch for steps so far taken to curb human trafficking, Pasquier pointed out that the French Government was committed to the Oba’s war against human trafficking.

On his part, Ewuare II described the partnership between the palace and France as panacea for eradicating social crimes from the society.

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