Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has said the government needs support from international development agencies and other external partners in dealing with cartels fuelling human trafficking and illegal migration.
The governor said this during a courtesy visit by a delegation from Switzerland, on a fact-finding mission on the incidence of illegal migration in Nigeria, at the Government House, in Benin.
Obaseki said: “We are investing in our basic education system as well as skills acquisition and job creation programmes. We are strengthening our legal system and accelerating economic development to discourage illegal migration.
“But there must be more commitment from all partners in tackling illegal migration and they should put in real resources for resettlement, prosecution and helping us create job opportunity for these young persons.”
He more collaboration is needed in the areas of enforcement and prosecution of traffickers at the local and international levels, adding, “these traffickers have cartels abroad that we need to deal with.”
He noted that the state government is working to encourage regular migration through skills acquisition programmes for youths, stressing, “we are giving our youths hope and want them to know that if they acquired skills and are educated, they will find a job.”
Earlier, the Migration Adviser, Embassy of Switzerland, Jolanda Pfister Herren, said the delegation was on a fact-finding mission to assess her country’s partnership on migration with Nigeria.
Herren said the team had earlier met with the Edo State Task force on Human Trafficking (ETAHT), adding that the team is impressed with the holistic approach being used to combat the scourge.
“We are here on a fact-finding mission to understand how the partnership on migration our country has with Nigeria is functioning.
“We are keen on finding what could be done better, the gaps and make some recommendations. The partnership is to tackle the negative ills of migration and benefit from the positive effect of migration,” she said.
Meanwhile, the governor has urged Muslim faithful to imbibe the virtue of piety and pray for Nigeria’s unity and progress with the commencement of the Ramadan fast.
The governor said the sacred month of Ramadan is a period for Muslims in the state and across the country to draw close to God, live in peace with their neighbours and dedicate themselves to the virtues of charity and sacrifice.
“As Muslim Faithful in the state and across the world commence the Ramadan fast, I urge them to uphold the hallmarks of the period which include commitments to family, faith and community.
“The period is a time of reflection and dedication to God and as Muslim faithful observe this sacred devotion, they should remember to pray for peace, unity and progress in Nigeria.
“I also urge Muslims in Edo State to pray for the progress of the state as they have always and ask that Almighty Allah continue to direct and guild those in the position of authority so they will continue to do His will,” he said.
The governor said the state government has benefitted from the prayers of Muslims, especially during the month of Ramadan, urging them to continue in the tradition.