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Youth Migration: NAPTIP Boss Calls for Conducive Environment for Employment Creation

The Provision of a conducive environment for direct foreign investment into Nigeria remains the panacea to the mass unemployment problem in Nigeria.

The Director-General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) Dame Julie Okah-Donli said this in Benin City, the Edo State capital while delivering a lecture at the University of Benin as part of activities marking the 60th birthday ceremony of businessman and philanthropist, Captain (Dr) Idahosa Wells Okunbo.

She was speaking on the topic: Youth Migration, Deportation and Rehabilitation: The Way Forward, under the theme: Youth Migration, Consequences and Current Realities,
Some of the issues she identified as capable of making the environment conducive for foreign direct investments include: development and maintenance of Infrastructure, security, strengthening the Economy and provision of Social Security. She however, stressed that these cannot be left to the federal government alone as the States and Local governments must play their own parts adequately.

She explained that such investments were capable of opening up the Nigerian economy and providing the elusive mass employment for the teeming youths and thereby, discouraging unnecessary migration of Nigerians to other parts of the world in search of greener pastures.

The NAPTIP boss also called for a National orientation and re-orientation programmes across the country to change the psyche of the Nigerian youth who believe that they can only survive by leaving the country to other places.

She said, ‘’there is need for governments at all levels to come up with transformation programs and a National Orientation and Reorientation program that will change people’s attitude to migration. Without this, an attitude crisis will be another major driving force for illegal migration. Something fundamental must be done to control and contain the illegal movement of people out of the countries.

‘’A crucial step forward is to help to re-orient and re-educate the average Nigerian youth to make them realise that they can actualise their potentials and dreams at home and that they are not necessarily poorer than their contemporaries abroad or in the country they migrate to’’.

Dame Okah-Donli while stating that migration was as old as mankind added, that it has however, increased over the years as a result of many factors including: globalisation, shrinking borders and easier means of transportation. She stated that such situations have also created problems for both source and destination countries with the attendant effects on the migrants.

She therefore, advised Nigerian youths not to be desperate to leave the country at all cost as criminal trafficking gangs were lurking all over the place to deceive them and eventually make them personal economic tools abroad.

‘’The grass might seem greener elsewhere, but in reality, it might end up being an illusion. If you must travel, do it legally. Ensure that you have your documents and know your rights in the country you plan to visit. It is also important to note here, that we as individuals, we should think of ways of building our country up to the standard of those we desire to go to’’, she further added.

On the recent evacuation of Nigerians trapped in Libya by the Nigerian Government, Okah-Donli disclosed that from January 2018 when the evacuation comments, 2114 Nigerian have been brought home successfully.

She however, called on public spirited individuals and corporate bodies to assist government Agencies to make the reintegration of the returnees easier.

On tackling the migration problems across the world, the Director-General called for a holistic approach by the countries of origin and their destination counterparts.

Some of the approaches according to her include: strengthening the existing partnerships based on mutual respect; investigation and prosecution of all those involved, including nationals of destination countries; reducing the conditions that make human trafficking attractive in destination countries; deepening exchange of information and intelligence, engaging in full disclosure amongst others.

She however, assured that NAPTIP under her watch will always do that which is right and to ensure that victims of human trafficking in its shelters are properly assisted and eventually reintegrated into society as good citizens that would contribute to national development.

In his remarks, Dr. Idahosa Wells Okunbo commended the University for honouring him with the public lecture and for choosing a topic after his heart for discussion. He also commended the Director-General of NAPTIP for the courage she has exhibited since she came on board and pledged to contribute his quota in the fight against human trafficking and irregular migration as a NAPTIP Ambassador against human trafficking.

Josiah Emerole
Head, Press &Public Relations (NAPTIP)
17th February, 2018