High number of young Nigerians involved in irregular migration worrisome ― FG

The Federal Government has described as worrisome, the high number of young Nigerians involved in irregular migration to Europe and other destination countries in spite of the dangers in the adventurous journey.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, expressed this concern, on Tuesday, in Abuja at the 2019 National Migration Dialogue, with the theme: “Localising the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration: Developing National Implementation Action Plan.”

Ngige spoke against the backdrop of reports that some of the irregular migrants who are not so lucky perish in the Mediterranean Sea while some others who were able to escape the hazardous journey end up in sexual exploitation and exploitative labour.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in publication on Migration in Nigeria: A Country Profile 2014, indicated that over 16,915 were irregular migrants in Europe.

He said the Federal Government was determined to stem the tide of irregular migration by trying to provide decent jobs for youth in the country, the Minister said comprised 60 per cent of Nigeria’s 200 million population.

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While describing the theme of the 2019 National Dialogue as apt, Ngige, noted that the issue of irregular migration requires a multi-sectoral approach to address, saying his Ministry was willing to collaborate with all relevant agencies to curb the menace.

Honourable Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Senator Garba Mohammed, in his address said the Commission would continue to advocate for joint bilateral agreements with all of the foreign governments for the promotion of more regular migration.

He recalled that Nigeria was a key actor in the various processes that led to the adoption of the Global Compact on Migration (GCM), stressing that in October 2017, the Commission convened a national consultation that led to the development of Nigeria’s position and contribution to the Global Compact.

He said this improved awareness would hopefully reduce the risks being taken by Nigerian men, women and children currently crossing the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea.

He added that the Commission is also collaborating with the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to reduce irregular migration and human trafficking.

Mohammed said: “We have realized that our problem is not with migration to foreign countries but with ourselves not taking the lead to sell the richness of every region of our country as a first priority.

“We are rich in oil, in agriculture, and most importantly, we are blessed with an extremely skilled workforce of young professionals.

“Each year we lose our young professionals through both irregular and regular Migration to other countries,” he said.

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