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Govt urged to accord the challenge of Migration the attention it deserves -ANEEJ

The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ has advised the successful governorship candidate at the polls in Edo State this weekend to put in place policies and programmes that would accord the challenge of migration in the state the attention it deserves as a priority issue. The Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor who was represented by the Deputy Director, Mr Leo Atakpu gave the advice during the ANEEJ policy brief with newsmen in Benin City. According to ANEEJ, “with support from Embassy of Switzerland in Nigeria a research on Migration and Corruption Nexus as part of the implementation of a project ‘Tackling human trafficking through advocacy to increase investment on human capital development and civic engagement in Edo state was commissioned. “The research focused on generating data and evidence on Public Spending on Human Capital Investment and proffer alternative approaches to stem the migration crisis in Edo State. “For years, Edo state has had the unenviable reputation of being the focal source of migration in Nigeria and the broader West Africa sub-region and despite this; there has been a negligible focus by both national and sub national governments to properly contextualize and address the issue, until recently.” While noting that it is imperative that the successful governor and political party adopt a holistic approach in dealing with the challenge of migration that grasps the society-wide implications of the issue, policies and programmes should therefore integrate economic considerations, budgetary allocations, security issues, social norms, anticorruption and other governance reforms. “A clear road map that builds on the ongoing efforts of the Edo State Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking should be provided and extant partnerships with relevant development actors such as the international Organization for Migration should be strengthened. “The government has to build the infrastructure required to pull migrants back to Edo State. Specifically, electricity, roads, water and hospitality industries. This will show in commitments to budget for critical human development sectors to stem the tide of irregular migration and perhaps the migrants again and again. The government should fast track the process of signing the Open Government Partnership (OGP) state action plan. This will serve to confirm the avowed commitment of the current administration to open government and civil society organizations will be positioned for effective engagement in the state income and expenditure patterns” ANEEJ added. The facilitator of Edo Women Initiatives and a member Human Trafficking Taskforce, Edo State, Dr(Mrs) Roseline Okosun who pointed out that leaders should be good role models to children noted that “ we must all stand up and speak out against illegal migration.” According to Dr Okosun who is also the Special Adviser to Governor Godwin Obaseki on Basic Education and founder of Association Against women exports the young ones should be encouraged to think outside the box to be productive. The researcher, Dr Oscar Ubhenin said this is a wakeup call for responsible leadership, adding that priority should be given to education and health to stem challenge of illegal migration.