• Wed. Oct 4th, 2023

…launches migration management through the development

Edo State Government, in active collaboration with the Italian Government and the lnternational Organization for Migration, IOM, has formally launched the Managing Migration Through Development (MMDP 2.0) project.

The project was launched by Governor Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki at the Protea Hotel, Benin City, the Edo State capital.

The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu said the collaborative initiative provides the opportunity to chart a new path of support and partnership in strengthening the mandate of tackling illegal migration and human trafficking in Edo State.

According to him, ” we have welcome very impactful partnerships and collaboration from different stakeholders within the country and the global community for the onerous task of reversing the trend of illegal migration and human trafficking in our State within the last six years”.

“We have made remarkable progress in the course of this mission. We have created solid institutional and legal framework as well as several vehicles and initiatives to support our youthful and aspirational people”.

“Before we came on board in 2016, Edo State had the notorious reputation of being one of the primary sources of illegal migrants attempting to cross into Europe through the Mediterranean Sea”.

“For us, it was unacceptable as it posed existential and reputation risk for us as a people and a State. This is so because our people are not lazy nor are we naturally predisposed to crime. We come from a rich heritage and civilization. We are proud, hardworking people. We have given the right circumstances and grooming achieved enviable feats across various areas of human endeavor”.

“Poised to find the root cause of the issues, we employed empirical studies and discovered that the problem was squarely caused by systematic collapse and failure to prioritize development initiative over time, which was worsened by decades of neglect of the youths by successive governments”.

“To address the issue, we embarked on several reform activities, chief among which is the enactment of the Edo State Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Bill (2018), which provided the desperately needed legislative framework to tackle the menace”.

“Our partnership project with the Italian Government through the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and International Organization for Migration, IOM, have been phenomenal in their support and commitment to finding lasting solutions to illegal migration in Edo State”.

“We have created a thriving creative industry, training not less than 15, 000 software engineers, developing Africa’s largest oil palm program on 120,000 hectares of land, and building lasting infrastructure to sustain our thriving economy”, Shaibu added.

Earlier, the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Stefano De Leo, noted that the project was targeted towards contributing to the efforts of the Edo State Government in preventing human trafficking and protecting vulnerable migrants and community members across the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo State.

The launch had in attendance; IOM Chief Mission, Laurent De Boeck, top government functionaries, and returnee migrants, including immigration stakeholders, amongst others.

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