By Tersoo Zamber
The Federal Government has expressed concern over the increasing rate of irregular migration by its citizens.
The minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige was speaking in Abuja at a National Migration Dialogue.
The event was part of activities to mark this year’s International Migrants Day.
Dr. Ngige explained that sixty percent of Nigeria’s population was youths who were mostly embarking on irregular migrating in search of greener pastures.
He said ten percent had stable jobs while the federal government was working hard to provide employment for the remaining fifty percent to check the rising wave of irregular migration.
The labour and employment minister pointed out that the government would review the nation’s educational curriculum to be more skill oriented.
According to him, this will make citizens more self reliant and make the country exporter of skillful workforce.
Declaring the event open, the Minister of Humantarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq
appreciated the safe return of over fifteen thousand Nigerian migrants.
She expressed worry over the increasing desire by some to still embark on such dangerous journeys.
Hajiya Sadiya expressed the commitment of the federal government to addressing the root causes of irregular migration from the country.
While welcoming participants to the event, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Senator Basheer Mohammed
He said the commission would collaborate with other stakeholders to intensify enlightenment on the dangers of irregular migration.
The National Dialogue had as its theme: Localizing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration: Developing a National Implementation Action Plan.
The aim is to domesticate the global compact aimed at protecting the rights of migrants.
This, the Federal Commissioner noted Nigeria was a key actor in the formulation and adoption of the compact.
He explained that the recent proclamation of the on arrival visa policy by the federal government was a testament.
Senator Basheer pointed out that the problem was not with the migrants but the inability to showcase national worth and endowment.
In a keynote address, the Guest Speaker, former minister of Foreign Affairs and former Nigeria’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Prof. Joy Ogwu emphasised that migration had become a permanent feature in human endeavour.
She stressed the important contributions of migrants to the nation, saying remittance inflow can be direct life lines for many families.
In a goodwill message, the Chief of Mission, International Organisation for Migration, IOM Nigeria, Mr. Frantz Celestin commended Nigeria for being the pioneer country to take steps to domesticate the global compact for migration.
Mr. Celestin pledged IOM technical support to Nigeria towards achieving the goal.
Nigeria was at the forefront of the process leading to the adoption of the Global Compact for safe, orderly and regular migration.
It was the biggest continental power that threw its weight behind the global framework in December 2018.
In October 2017, Nigeria with the support of IOM, developed the national recommendation for the global compact.
In December 2018, the two partners, Nigeria and IOM prepared the position leading to the adoption of the GCM in Marakesh, Morocco.