Irregular Migration: Expert Proffers Solution To Arrest Development

A migration expert and lead trainer at the reintegration training programme for the returned migrants in Nigeria, jointly sponsored by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU), Mr. Osita Osemne has called on government at all levels to put more efforts to stem the tide of irregular migration.

Osemene lamented that the system is not doing enough to discourage the trend, saying; “Only very few campaigns against the scourge are sincere.”
He made the statement recently in Lagos during one of the reintegration training workshops for about 400 Libyan returnees.

He said: “One of the best ways to counter the trend of irregular migration is to provide an enabling environment. This is still lacking in our system. The international communities are doing much for us. They provide accommodation, major return assistance and support to the returnees after the reintegration training. They take care of them when they are sick, even back in Nigeria. Government should key into some of these programmes as well as do something to provide jobs for the teeming unemployed youths. Such move by the government would surely discourage the youths from migrating; otherwise, they would continue to be forced out of the country.”

He warned that a group of returnees unattended to would always turn out to become dangerous human traffickers and smugglers. “Check the history of traffickers and smugglers; all of them are people that have gone through that process. Somebody took them through the desert journey, and they learnt the trade and began to recruit others from there,” he added. 

Osemene stated that apart from training the returnees to able them reintegrate into the society and live a normal life, the programme also intends to use the returned migrants as campaign advocates against irregular migration.

“We found out that these returned migrants are the best tools to discourage the trend because they know the traffickers, the trend and everything. So, we are trying to see how we can make them ambassadors of human trafficking. We want to use them after they have been successfully reintegrated into the society as advocates to ensure that others don’t go through what they have gone through; that is one of the ways I think the evil of human trafficking could be subdued,” he said.

He tasked the government to step up its efforts to halt the trend, saying: “The government needs to step up efforts to ensure that these things stop. The fight is not just for the civil society alone.”

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