The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has applauded the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on the use of the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking and the state’s skills development agency, EdoJobs, in tackling human trafficking and illegal migration.
The IOM Chief of Mission, Franz Celestin, gave the commendation during a courtesy visit to the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki at the Government House in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Celestin said the initiatives have made the IOM’s job easy in tackling illegal migration and other related issues in the state.
“With these two agencies on ground, all we have to do is to provide technical support. We appreciate the governor for the guidance he has provided to the agencies,” he noted.
He added that the IOM inaugurated two agro-processing centres (Pineapple and Cassava) in Edo State, to support the government’s efforts to empower youths, noting that the IOM intends to build additional four centres in the state.
Celestin pledged the support of the IOM to assist over 5,000 migrant returnees in the state to get sustainable source of livelihood.
In his remarks, Governor Obaseki said statistics has shown that his administration has made considerable progress in reducing the menace of human trafficking in the state.
According to him, the next step is to ensure the eradication of the scourge from the country as perpetrators are leaving Edo State to other parts of the country to continue their practice.
“We are prepared to render assistance and share our experience with other states ready to deal with the challenge,” he noted.
The governor expressed appreciation to the IOM for establishing the processing centres, adding, “We have made a lot of progress in the area of investigation, prosecution and are strengthening institutions in dealing with the root causes.”
Obaseki noted that the state will integrate some of its policies with that of IOM to achieve more sustainable outcomes, as his administration is putting measures in place to deal with the root causes of illegal migration especially in communities more prone to the scourge.
He said, “We are improving the healthcare delivery system, deepening education reforms, building infrastructure, and generating economic activities through agriculture.”
The governor said the state also needed support to provide a sustainable source of livelihood for the over 5,000 returnees in the state, adding that there was need to hold a roundtable meeting to evaluate the successes made so far by all stakeholders involved in tackling irregular migration.