To address the incidence of illegal migration, the Edo State Government in collaboration with Action Aid Nigeria and the Ideal Development Resource Centre (IDRC), have concluded plans to train 1,600 youths and women on vocational skills for self-sustenance.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hon. Mrs Magdalene Ohenhen, disclosed this on Thursday in Benin City at a sensitisation workshop on Migration, with the theme: Creation of Alternative to Irregular Migration through Socio-Economic Empowerment and Sensitisation Project.”
Mrs Ohenhen said the workshop would bring to the fore the ills of illegal migration, human trafficking and exploitation. “60 percent of the 1,600 beneficiaries of the training would be women and youths aged between 18 and 40 years,” she said, and added that vocations that trainees would be expected to learn include fishery, snail farming, vegetable and crop production, poultry farming, automobile repairs, fashion and hair making, and woodwork technology.
The commissioner said the state government has as its priority a mandate to change the mind-set of the people about issues regarding human trafficking, as the activity of human traffickers put the state in bad light in the past.
She lamented that lives have been lost on the high seas due to the quest greener pastures through illegal and deathly means, noting that efforts are being ramped up to ensure that the menace is checked.
“I believe we can collectively address this challenge. We can be an example to other states and show that the incidence of human trafficking can be reduced. By so doing, we would redeem the image of the state.”
She noted that the workshop was the first phase of a series of programmes government has outlined to tackle illegal migration and human trafficking.
Executive Director, IDRC, Mr Saliu Aidorolo, said the workshop is part of a two-year project funded by the Italian Government through its Ministry of Interior.
Aidorolo said the project was sited in two states, Edo and Borno, adding that whereas in Borno State, it was because of insurgency, in Edo State, it was to address human and irregular migration.
The training, he said, would change the narrative on illegal migration in the state, as it has a target to sensitise no fewer than 200,000 youths on the dangers of illegal migration. He added that starter packs would be provided to trainees, who successfully complete the training programme.