By- Oluwafunke Ishola
Footprint to Africa in partnership with Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC) are to set up skills acquisition centres to empower youths to stem irregular migration and human trafficking.
Mr Osita Oparaugo, the Managing Director of Footprint to Africa, an investment promotion company, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos on Thursday.
Oparaugo during a walk against irregular migration and human trafficking in Lagos said the initiative was a different strategy to raise awareness about the negative effects of irregular migration and human trafficking on people and the economy at large.
He said that there was the need to deepen economic transformation and inclusive growth among the citizens to reduce poverty and unemployment rate in the country.
This , he said had made many people to embrace irregular migration and fall prey to human traffickers.
Oparaugo noted that the desired foreign direct investments needed to stimulate the economy would be hindered if its productive workforce kept on migrating from the country.
“Illegal migration and human trafficking have become a very big problem for Africa today.
“This is a first of several walks that will be held in several cities in Africa. The next walk will be held in December in Mozambique.
“To address the cause of irregular migration and human trafficking, we would have street shows, short films that would be played in communities.
“We will set up migration parks where people who feel rejected and unemployed in the society can come to learn handwork so that they can be self-sufficient.
“We will set up parks in two different African regions,” he said.
Oparaugo said that the project would be in conjunction with NACC, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Nigeria and National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).
He added that they would use different communication techniques to raise awareness on the dangers associated with irregular migration and engineer behaviour change among the populace.
Ms Joyce Akpata, the Director-General of NACC, was quoted as calling on government to create enabling environment that would allow businesses to thrive and create jobs for the teeming youths.
“Many youths are lured into irregular migration due to unemployment and poverty, but if the necessary infrastructure and investments are put in place to improve their well-being, they will stay put and contribute to the nation’s socio-economic development,” she said.
Also, Ms Cyprine Cheptopkent, the Communication Officer, IOM, Nigeria, said that IOM would continue to support government’s efforts to manage migration through capacity-building, advisory services and technical assistance on migration matters.
She said that they would intensify massive nationwide campaign to educate people on the ills of human trafficking and irregular migration. (NAN)