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High Rate Of Nigeria’s Migrants Smuggled To Foreign Land Worries NIS

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), has expressed worry over high rate of Nigerian migrants, particularly the youths being smuggled to foreign lands via illegal means.

Comptroller of the Enugu State Command of the Service CIS, Joachim Olumba, stated this yesterday during a two day Sensitization and Enlightenment Campaign on Smuggling of migrants being organized in the state by the Migration Directorate of the Nigeria Immigration Service.

African Examiner reports that the event held at the Aaron place hotel Enugu, was put together in collaboration with the international Centre for Migration policy Development (ICMPD) for immigration officers , border Management Agencies, and the general Public .

He however, advised the Nigerian youths, especially those already itching to engage in such movement, to remember that ‘not all that glitters are gold’,

stressing that no matter the challenges or difficulties they may be passing thorough at the moment in the country, Home still remains the best, when compared with suffering in foreign land.

“I am very delighted to welcome everyone of you to this highly important engagement of Sensitization and Enlightenment on the scourge of Smuggling of Migrants (SOM).

“Indeed, this program couldn’t have been held at a more appropriate time, considering the alarming rate at which not only the youth, but older generation of Nigerians exhibit interest to leave the country, creating a worrisome phenomenon which has come to be popularly known in local parlance as “Japa”.

According to Olumba, “driven largely by social, economic and security concerns, Nigerians, especially the youth are leaving the shores of our country in their droves.

“To many, what is paramount is to achieve the goal of migrating from the country and not the means of reaching their destinations.

“Whether they are smuggled or trafficked, or they even get to leave the country by means of stowaway, does not really matter to them.

The Enugu NIS boss, posited that “the ultimate interest is to relocate to foreign lands, as far as the vast majority are concerned, the end will eventually justify the means.

“Very unfortunately, this desperation has brought unspeakable and unprintable hardships on numerous Migrants.

“Many have had to be subjected to various degrees of harrowing experiences that eventually hunt them for the rest of their lives.

“This life of regret occasioned by the ill-advised mission to migrate by all means have exercised far-reaching consequences on countless victims of SOM.

He noted that “this is why this Sensitization and Enlightenment campaign has become auspicious and absolutely necessary.
“It is designed to equip migration managers and stakeholders with adequate knowledge to contain the scourge, as well as to arm the public with relevant information on how not to migrate in order to escape being victims of desperate promoters of SOM and TIP.

“You are therefore most welcome to this all-important Sensitization workshop and Enlightenment program which will hopefully expose us to the reality that not all offers to take our beloved ones overseas should be accepted.

“It’s our expectation that everyone here will find this workshop not only interesting, but much-revealing and thought-provoking.

“We welcome our colleagues from Abuja and representatives of our development partners, ICMPD, warmly to the ever serene Coal City.

“By bringing this crucial campaign to Enugu, you have undoubtedly taken a proactive action to stem the growing and troubling incidence of SOM in the state and beyond.

“We hope that the partnership will be sustained until the dangerous phenomenon is totally eliminated. We must not continue to watch while our children, the future hope of our beloved nation, are daily exposed to the grave danger posed by SOM.

In her remark, Head of Team Migration in NIS, DCI Nkechi Enete, explained that the European Union EU project funded by the Danish government, is aimed Sensitizing and enlightening Nigerians on the scourge of snuggling of migrants SOM.

She noted that the Comptroller General of NIS, Isah Jere Idris, had on the 13th of September, 2022 officially flagged off “this nationwide sensitization program on Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) at the Service Headquarters, Abuja and channeled efforts and focus on smuggling networks.

“As it constitutes threat to national security, economy, socio-political sanity and wellbeing of the country and to educate the general public on the dangers of the scourge.

“In retrospect, half of smuggled Nigerians surveyed in 2021 reported physical violence, while 25% cited being detained and 20% described sexual violence.

“Similarly, significant threats to children along these irregular routes including the risk of being trafficked, exploited, or subjected to physical and sexual violence and robbery was reported.

“In September 2022, the Observatory on Smuggling of Migrants in Nigeria by UNODC shows that 75% of Nigerian migrants planned to use smugglers or travel facilitators for land journeys for want of ease and cheaper rate but become vulnerable preys in the hands of smugglers.

“Furthermore, the report reveals that Enugu and Abia States have the highest number of smuggled migrants in the South East.

“Be that as it may, the Nigeria Immigration Service will continue to ensure capacity development of personnel, development of relevant legal framework and deployment of technology as well as create basic awareness to help tackle smuggling of migrants in and outside Nigeria.

“It is worthy to present the gratitude of the Service to the International Centre of Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) for collaborating with the NIS to sponsor the sensitization to Enugu State. I thank, the CIS Enugu state Command and his able Staff for making this program a reality.

It is apparently understood that smuggling of migrants is a scourge bedeviling the country and as such, tackling it requires collaborative efforts with government at all levels, Stakeholders, Development Partners, Philanthropists and well-meaning Nigerians.

“Therefore, I want to encourage you to pay rapt attention to all presentations and discussions; be free to interact and get equipped to enable you spread the content of this sensitization to others.

“By the Grace of Almighty God and with our collective resolve and commitment, I am confident that our efforts will help to curb the activities of migrant smugglers and facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration of migrants into and out of Nigeria while recalcitrant migrant smugglers are punished accordingly.

In a goodwill massage, the project Assistant, ICMPD West Africa office, which is driving the modernizing Nigeria Immigration (MONIS), Mr. Philemon Bonos, said the forum has offered “us a veritable opportunity to address one of the greatest challenges associated with modern migration across the globe.

He noted that “research has shown that every year, Nigerians emigrate across the shores of the country, and foreign citizens migrate to Nigeria.

“However, a reasonable proportion of Nigerians on the move are smuggled along various land, sea, and air routes to West Africa and other parts of the world with unimaginable dehumanizing consequences on their wellness and wellbeing, as well as on the socio- Economic fortunes of the country

“Thus, the decision of the NIS to embark on a nationwide Sensitization and enlightenment campaign against Migrants Smuggling for border security agencies and other critical Stakeholders would not have come at a better time than now.

The event which was attended by other sister security agencies, such as the DSS, FRSC, NDLEA, NSCDC, as well as NAPTIP, also received good will message from the Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical province of the Anglican Communion, His Grace Most Rev Emmanuel Chukwuma.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=82713

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