Increased illegal migration caused by failure of critical institutions, says Obaseki

L-R: Rear Admiral Kamarudeen Lawal, presenting a souvenir to the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, during a courtesy visit by senior participants of Course 40, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, to the governor on Wednesday, November 30, 2017, in Government House, Benin City, Edo State.

Empowers Libya Returnees With N100m Seed Capital For Agribusiness
Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has traced the current surge in illegal migration to lack of critical institutions to equip youths with requisite skills to survive in a globalised world.

Obaseki said while receiving Senior Participants of Course 40, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, led by Rear Admiral Kamarudeen Lawal, who were on a courtesy visit to Government House, Benin City, that practical steps must be taken to control Nigeria’s population and opportunities created to engage youths to stem the menace of illegal migration and avert future crisis.

The governor said it was unfortunate that politicians often fail to emphasise the importance of basic education in moulding minds that can make informed decisions.

Stressing the need for reorientation of youths to be self-driven and motivated, Obaseki said: “Part of the challenges we deal with today are caused by youths, who have not been given quality education at the foundation level, that is, basic education, as this level of education prepares one to face the challenges of life.”

He said Edo people are confident, but some of the youths are deceived by people who lure them with tales of better life outside the country, but said his administration was encouraging indigenes to come home, as his government has built structures to reintegrate them into society, noting: “As they come, we now have an opportunity to retrain them, using them as ambassadors to dissuade others from embarking on the dangerous journey.”

Earlier, Lawal commended the governor and people of the state for the hospitality and warm reception the team received on arrival.

Meanwhile, the governor has approved 150 hectares of land and N100million seed capital for the 150 Libya returnees and victims of human trafficking, who completed skills acquisition training at the Edo Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) office in Benin City, the state capital.

Obaseki, at the graduation ceremony of the returnees, directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to immediately liaise with the relevant authorities towards securing the land for them to commence agribusinesses.

They are to be organised into cooperatives, under the supervision of the Benin Owena River Basin Authority and the Edo Agricultural Development Programme (ADP).

Speaking on the need for a coordinated multilateral partnership to end the spate of modern day slavery, a key part of which is the trafficking in persons, he said the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, marked every December 2 by the United Nations (UN), should be seen as a day for a deep reflection on how to bring the illicit trade to an end.

He commended the returnees, 51 of whom were trained on crop production, 15 on Agro-processing, 68 on livestock farming and 52 on Fish farming, for availing themselves of the training opportunity and promised to make them ambassadors in the state-wide campaign against human trafficking and illegal migration.

He explained that the returnees are victims of a country that has failed them, adding that the state government has a duty to make them realise their God-given potential.

Earlier, the Programme Manager of ADP, Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, commended the state government for initiating the training and expressed optimism that the trainees would put to use the skills they acquired.

On the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, Obaseki said that it was regrettable the menace of slavery still persists after decades of efforts to abolish it, noting: “We ordinarily shouldn’t be talking about the menace of slavery given the experience we have had. But it is a reality today and we have no choice, but to tackle it.

“However, it is pertinent to point out the fact that modern day slavery, in its various forms, such as forced labour, debt bondage and human trafficking, has no place among us.

“To effectively abolish slave trade, as we have it today, it takes a coordinated, deep reaching, international coalition that will take into cognisance the various forms of modern day slavery and compel perpetrators to back down.”

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