The Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) has called on the Federal Government and institutions in Nigeria to give piority to capacity building for Journalists on migration matters.
This, the body argued, was one of the potent tools to combat human trafficking and other irregular migration menaces in 2022.
Ajibola Abayomi, the President of JIFORM comprising over 300 Journalists across the continents stated this in the new year message of the organization as the JIFORM’s third annual global migration conference comes up in Toronto, Canada, between February 25th and March 6th, 2022.
JIFORM with headquaters in Lagos, Nigeria admonished the government and its agencies that included National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and others to organize more knowledge sharing sessions with Journalists on migration matters.
He said the development would further broaden the knowledge of the media practitioners on the enormity of human trafficking, slavery and other crimes pointing out that Nigeria was among nations with highest figures whose nationals were being used as slaves in the world.
He praised the International Organization for Migration (IOM), FIIAPP and other international bodies, for offering technical support and training to the Nigerian Journalists over the years which he noted was yielding positive results and has helped to raise awareness reducing irregular migration.
“This year, we are focusing on strategic patnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development and others to get maximum support for media capacity development on migration matters.”
Ajibola said that the JIFORM in it’s proposal already sent across to relevant authorities and organisations had pencilled four strategic locations to train many Journalists from all the geopolitical zones in the nation.
“We are saying the era of no funds to support media training should be over. We don’t need all the monies in this world to equip Journalists with knowledge. Giving what was spent to repatriate thousands of Nigerians from abroad in 2021 alone, it will be foolhardy to jettison capacity building for the media to aid purposeful communication as one of preventive strategies against irregular migration.
“Journalists should be exposed to the trafficking routes in Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali and other corridors in West Africa. It is doable. This is not a rocket science.
“Further exposure to these routes especially Agades and Timbuktu in Niger Republic and Musa Park in Benin Republic will give Journalists more insights into the pains and deceits being orchestrated to deceive our people. Telling the story with deep passion will help to discourage more trafficking of persons along those routes.
“All of us have a duty to halt irregular migration fuelling human trafficking, organ harvesting, domestic abuse of Nigerians both home and abroad. On this JIFORM will be all out to work for the good of humanity.”