The Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said the state government is sincere about the fight against human trafficking and the challenges posed by the menace.
Obaseki said living in denial would not help the fight, which explains why his administration carried out extensive research to situate the root causes and tackle it, relying on evidential data gathered from returnees.
The governor, who disclosed this at the 2018 national alumni lecture of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, in Ibadan, in a lecture entitled: Technical Education and Skills Acquisition As Imperative for Youth Empowerment, said data collected from Libya returnees and other victims of human trafficking have revealed the complexities of human trafficking particularly the scope, travel routes and communities most prone to the menace.
Explaining that the state government has set up an elaborate plan to revamp Technical and Vocational Training and Education (TVET) in the state, as a means to make youths productive, he said: “We closed and redesigned the Government Science and Technical College in Benin, and we are currently rebuilding it to reflect contemporary requirements for a full-fledged technical college.
“We have equally redesigned the courses to make them demand-driven. The World Bank being impressed by these strides has contributed $1.2 million to this project and is set to invest an additional $2.7 million in the coming year.”
Meanwhile, Obaseki said the state and the government of Japan are putting finishing touches to a partnership that will usher investment in infrastructure and human capital development, particularly vocational education, in the state.
The governor said this after a meeting with the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Yutaka Kikuta, in Edo House, Abuja.
He said the state government is pursuing a robust industrialisation plan to reposition the state as the leading investment destination in Nigeria, and as such needs all the support it can get from development agencies and governments of other countries.