By John Dauda,
Lagos State Government has pledged support for the advocacy against irregular migration and human trafficking being championed by Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM).
The assurance was given when members of JIFORM paid a courtesy call on the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho on Wednesday at his office.
President of JIFORM, Ajibola Abayomi accompanied by Kikelomo Oduyebo and Yaqoub Yusuf presented a proposal on the summit to the commissioner and sought the support of the state for the JIFORM international migration summit slated for Abuja between November 25-29, 2019.
According to him, the foundation founded in 2018 was passionate about enlightening Nigerians on dangers of irregular migration, human and drug trafficking.
These he explained the foundation with over 140 members across the continents and other volunteers would actively lead to engage government on several opportunities in the economy in order to improve the living condition of the citizens.
He specifically urged the commissioner whom he described as media’s delight to do whatever was within his power to assist the foundation to fund the logistics required for transportation and accommodation of 65 journalists to be drawn from Radio Lagos/EKO FM, Lagos Television, Lagos Weekend Television, Lagos Traffic Radio and other private owned media outfits in the state during the event.
Ajibola said JIFORM was not unmindful of the financial challenges being faced by the state government stating that the body had already mapped out strategies to involve several agencies in its programmes drawn beyond 2020 both within and outside Nigeria.
Responding, Omotosho shared his personal encounters with several irregular migrants in Italy and America which he reported as an Editor at The Nation newspaper.
He praised JIFORM for the initiative and urged the leadership to expand the scope of the foundation to attract interest from both local and international donors.
The commissioner assured that Lagos State Ministry of Information and Strategy and the state government would support the JIFORM summit because “it is obvious that all hands must be on deck to stop human trafficking and those deceiving the youths to forsake Nigeria for foreign land without genuine reason.”
He said the state governor, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was driving people oriented policies that would transform infrastructure, human potentials and trade facilitation.