IOM calls for safe, orderly migration for economic development

IOM calls for safe, orderly migration for economic development

The United Nations Migration Agency has urged Nigerians to migrate in a safe and orderly manner in order to enhance the country’s economic development.

The call came during the sixth edition of the Global Migration Film Festival, which was held in Abuja.

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The Global Migration Film Festival is an annual event organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to bring people from all over the world together to share migration tales and to allow migrants to tell their own stories.

The goal of the festival is to pave the way for greater discussion around one of the greatest phenomena of our time.

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The film festival’s panelists pointed out that irregular migration, which is fueled by poverty, unemployment, insecurity, and instability, is wreaking havoc on the country’s economy and affecting the psychology of the country’s children, youths, and women, and that it requires immediate attention.

IOM Nigeria’s National Project Officer for Labour Migration and Diaspora, Mrs Elizabeth Poage, highlighted that, despite the detrimental effects of irregular migration on the victim, family, and society, regular migration benefits society by contributing significantly to national development.

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“Until all these issues such as socio-economic, political issues are addressed, there is no way forward in tackling the irregular migration. The government needs to do a lot. There is a need for coordination among relevant stakeholders. There is a need for strengthened capabilities to handle or manage migration and sustain awareness.”

According to the, Executive Director of Africa Youth Growth Foundation, Dr Arome Salifu, “lack of jobs, search for greener pastures and insecurity are some of the factors responsible for forcing many Nigerians to seek alternatives, including irregular migration. I urged all Nigerians to seek correct information from relevant authorities before setting out. Also, those seeking to migrate should acquire relevant skills beyond tertiary education as well as learn the language of the country of destination.”

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Dr Salifu, stressed that the “Government needs to prioritise migration as an option to get out of economic challenges. If not, we would keep looking at migration as a challenge. If the government will consider it as an option and an area to explore, all they need to do is to standardise and certify our skills to conform with the country’s specific labour standard. Now that way, Nigeria can explore bilateral, multilateral labour instruments, agreements and resolutions to allow Nigerians to leave Nigeria officially to work in those countries”.

The Executive Director, Policy Consults, Mr Jide Olatoye, stressed that “ there is need for Nigeria to begin to see migration as an economic move that can be supported by the country to trigger national development. irregular migration would only persist when push factors of migration in Nigeria are addressed”.

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The festival featured films and documentaries that capture the promise and challenges of migration and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities.

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