Edo State Governor, Mr. 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 when he received the French Ambassador to Nigeria, Jerome Pasquier, who was on a courtesy visit to the governor at the Government House in Benin City.
The governor commended the French Government for collaborating with his government to effectively reduce the scourge of illegal migration in the state.
Governor Obaseki noted: “We want to thank you for the support we have received on irregular migration as our focus is an aggressive fight against the scourge.
“We have done a lot of work and have data on every 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 have to focus on enforcement as well. Beyond enforcement, we need to focus on human capital development, supporting job creation and improving livelihoods.”
Commending the French Government, Obaseki stated: “You have been very supportive; thanks for what you are doing with Edojobs. As a government, we are exposing our youths to skills, opportunities and market.
“This is a new dawn in our relationship with France as we have more Edo citizens in France and must build on that relationship. There is a lot of scope in developing stronger relationships with the French Government.”
He continued: “Job creation and the fight against poverty is the key for us, which is why we are emphasizing technical education and vocational training.
“We noticed that when our people travel out, they are being taken advantage of because they are not skilled. We believe in regular migration but have to have quota for those that want to travel. One way to stop trafficking is to create a window for regular migration.”
He continued: “As a government, education is not negotiable. We have started revamping our educational system. We have introduced technology into our basic education, ensuring that the teachers are well trained and the children have begun to learn through the use of technology.”
Obaseki said his administration is looking forward to collaborating with France on improving the state’s healthcare system to stem medical tourism.
On his part, Pasquier lauded the commitment, courage and determination of Governor Obaseki in the fight against irregular migration.
He noted: “We know that there is serious problem in human trafficking between Nigeria, France and other European countries, with Edo State being the worst hit in Nigeria.
“We know that you are very conscious of this problem and active in fighting this scourge. We have to work on all aspects of prevention including fighting the gang responsible for any form of illegal migration. I know you are very much involved in the fight and we have much to do.
“The solution to the problem is to fight against poverty and job creation. That’s why we have decided to work with Edojobs. We are impressed with the work that you are doing with job creation, which is the best way out of the economic situation in Nigeria,” he added.