Obaseki: Biting economic hardship threatening fight against irregular migration; Edo sets to launch Migration 2.0
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Obaseki: Biting economic hardship threatening fight against irregular migration; Edo sets to launch Migration 2.0

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Monday, expressed worry that the excruciating hardship resulting from the bad shape of the nation’s economy was threatening the government’s fight against human trafficking and illegal migration.

Obaseki said this when he received members of the executive of Action Aid Nigeria, led by its Director of Programmes, Suwaiba Muhammad Dankabo, who were on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Benin City.

The governor hailed Action Aid and the European Union, among others, for partnering with his administration to checkmate and tackle the challenge of irregular migration.

He noted that the state has finalized plans to launch Edo Migration 2.0 to sustain gains recorded in the fight against the global menace.

Obaseki said, "We have a history of our youths being restless, aspirational and ready to take any risk in pursuit of their ambition. It's that risk we try to mitigate by encouraging them not to migrate through the Sahara Desert.

"We accepted the problem facing us and set up a taskforce to deal with the problem. We took up the responsibility of resettling returnees, tackling the root cause of the problem, dealing with perpetrators and understanding migration in the context of development.”

“We are concerned that what is happening in the country today and the very difficult economic situation that is emerging will put pressure on young people to want to travel again. I don't believe that our response should be the same as we did in Migration 1.0 as we may not be able to prevent irregular migration,” Obaseki added.

The governor continued: “Our strategy for Migration 2.0 is to work with destination countries and the federal government to look for pathways for regular migration. Post-COVID-19, a lot of the destination countries require labour and we have no excuse not to prepare our people properly to migrate safely.

"We will discuss with the Italian Ambassador as we strategize on how to prepare and structure proper labour contracts, train and prepare our people to travel and do their job regularly.”

“In Migration 2.0, we would expect you to work closely with us to look at the data we have and support some other intervention programmes that we have. Migration 2.0 for us, is that every player in the spectrum needs to sit across the table with us to enable us to know what you are doing and how to optimise resources together to strengthen our partnership, reducing waste and achieving more,” Obaseki noted

Reassuring that his government will create more opportunities to support women and build structures that will allow them to achieve their fullest potentials, Obaseki further stated, "In Edo State, we will encourage our women to come up and be part of the political process to ensure we have equal female representation in the legislature.

“We are happy with the representation in the executive and judiciary. Our task is to make sure that in Edo State, our women have due representation in the legislature.”

Earlier, Dankabo commended Obaseki commended Obaseki for his affirmative action for women in his cabinet and the government’s commitment to the fight against human trafficking and illegal migration.

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