Lagos State Government has commended the Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM)’s advocacy on irregular migration and human trafficking.
The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, gave the commendation, when JIFORM team, led by the President, Mr Ajibola Abayomi, paid him a courtesy visit during the week.
The former editor of The Nation Newspaper encouraged JIFORM to join forces with government and others to find solutions to the causes of irregular migration.
“One needs to find out why many people still join the train of this irregular migration. Do we need to review the advocacy or evolve another strategy? You should find answers to those posers because stories about what migrants go through abroad are everywhere, yet some still fall prey.”
He however assured that the state government would do whatever was within it powers to support JIFORM second annual summit billed for Ibadan, Oyo State on October 15, 2020, to be chaired by foremost professor of law and global speaker, Patrick Lumumba.
Omotoso was quick to point out that much as Lagos State would wish to back the programme that the effect of Covid-19 on the economy of Lagos was very huge.
The commissioner said the state government had inaugurated a Committee against irregular migration in order to combat the menace.
“It is very important for effective advocacy and sensitization by the Government to curb the menace of irregular migration and human trafficking, before it gets out of hand.”
He said the state was yet to recover from the impact of Covid-19 as its revenue had dropped to 57 percent.
Advising Nigerians to shun unplanned journeys he said no nation was immune from economic challenges.
“People will continue to move from one place to another for survival.
“There is no country in the world without economic challenged as result of covid -19 pandemic. Most of the Lagos State Civil Servants are still at home, and want the government to pay them salaries.
“Though the pandemic is a global phenomenon, yet the impact is enormous on the State economy. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It will soon be over and according to experts, Covid-19 is going to be like malaria,” he said.
The Commissioner advised Nigerians to embrace agriculture, because the country is blessed with a fertile land.
“60 percent of Nigeria population are youths. If we can get agriculture right in this country, then we will get many other things right as well.
“Also, Nigeria youths should get involved in entrepreneurship, instead of searching for white collar jobs, because Covid-19 pandemic has forced Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to push a lot of money into small scale business sector and the interest rate of this soft loan is as low as 3 percent. So, I encourage Nigeria youths to buy into the opportunity,” he emphasized.”
In his remarks, Abayomi, thanked the Commissioner for the State’s financial support to the group during it’s first year anniversary in 2019 and called for more support for migration advocacy.
He urged the government to create more opportunities for the youths by opening up critical sector of the economy.
“Youths need empowerment as white collar jobs are no longer available. It was painful recently that 45 Nigerian youths perished on the Mediterranean sea while attempting to cross to Europe”.