By Akinmofe John,
September 1, 2019
“All hands must be on deck to strengthen the economy in order put an end to whatever pull factor aiding irregular migration of the Nigerian youths abroad either through human trafficking or other means,” these are the words of Comptroller of Ekiti State Command, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), I. B. Idibia, while receiving members of Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) during a courtesy call to her office on Thursday in Ado-Ekiti.
The JIFORM delegation led by its President, Ajibola Abayomi comprised Mayah Mark, the Lagos Editor of Daily Asset Newspaper, Yemi Akintomide, Regional Editor, TheLead Magazine, Akure and Yaqoub Popoola of Independent Newspapers, Ekiti State.
Ajibola sought the support of the NIS Command towards the hosting of international migration conference by the association slated for November in Nigeria and briefed the Comptroller on series of JIFORM interventions aimed at stemming the tide of irregular migration.
While reiterating the desire to work with the command, he called for strategic collaboration with the association as the body intensified partnership with the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigeria Police Force, National Emergency Management Agency, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), United Nations Commission for Refugees and other critical stakeholders.
Responding, the Comptroller hailed JIFORM’s determination to champion advocacy against irregular migration and charged both government and private institutions to join hands with the NIS in ensuring that the on-going e-migrant registration get the desired attention across the country.
Idibia counseled the youths to channel their energy and resources toward developing the nation instead of making themselves available for trafficking by unpatriotic persons taking advantage of them.
“This is the first time I am interacting with a group journalists that special in migration reporting. I want to commend JIFORM for choosing to do advocacy against human trafficking and other menaces of irregular migration. I can see that your group comprised youths with the desire to make a difference and we are in support of that.
“Although Nigeria economy is faced with challenges but the solution is not to join those who think by taking to illegal or illicit activities is the way out. There are cases where regular migrants even turned to irregular migrants in many countries but we have a duty as Nigerians to earn good name for ourselves and our dear nation.
“ In as much as migration is not a crime because it is as old as man, however, all of us must not pay lip service to the need to create more oppurtunities for our youths and those willing to be employed. Through that, many Nigerians would have a rethink about irregular migration” she said.
On what NIS is doing to strengthen immigration services in Nigeria, she said “the Comptroller General of NIS, Muhammadu Babandede is leading a unique revolution to turn around the Service and to further secure Nigeria’s interest in the area of immigration.
“The facility at our headquarters in Abuja is a state of art to behold with equipment that is capturing data about all Nigerians and immigrants in the country. The data being collated would assist the federal government to plan various economy policies. The international passport is a new innovation too.
“In Ekiti State, we are meeting with the state government, traditional rulers and other stakeholders to advance sensitisation on e-migrant registration, Ekiti Comptroller residence had been completed by the NIS boss and we are making necessary interventions to curb human trafficking by collaborating with National Agency for Prohibition of Persons In Trafficking (NAPTIP), the police and other agencies.
“Earlier today while undertaking capturing for national passport a suspected human trafficker was identified and arrested for attempting to secure Nigerian passport to lure a minor abroad for slavery so we won’t rest on our hoarse as we continue to frustrate efforts of the human traffickers.”