Migration high in Nigeria — IOM official

The Head, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Lagos, Mr Victor Lutenco, says migration is high in Nigeria and it is important to make sure those involved do it rightly.

He said this at sensitisation programme held at Dover Hotel, Lekki, in Lagos, on Monday.

The sensitisation programme was themed: “Say No to Smuggling of Migrants.”

“At the moment, migration is pretty high in the country due to many factors, so it is important that people who want to leave the country, should leave through the right way and shouldn’t fall victims to traffickers,” Lutenco said.

He said that the people at the grassroots were prone to traffickers as they were the vulnerable ones.

Lutenco said that enlightening them on the dangers of irregular migration would go a long way in fixing the problem.

“They must be educated on the risks that come with irregular migration and to make them understand that migration should be done in the right way to prevent any form of problems in the short and long term,” he said.

The IOM chief said that the organisation was committed in helping people to know the dangers of irregular migration.

He said it was also there to cater to people who fell victim to human trafficking.

Lutenco noted that carrying out sensitisation programme for people at the grassroot was essential in eradicating irregular migration in the country.

He noted that the organisation would keep on supporting and helping Nigerian returnees to integrate into the society.
“The organisation will keep on rendering help to returnees so as to eliminate all forms of stigma,” he said.
Assistant Comptroller General in Charge of Migration, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Angela Esekhaigbe, said that collaboration between relevant agencies could help in tackling irregular migration.

She noted that capacity building was an essential tool in the fight against irregular migration.
“The Nigeria Immigration Service remains committed in ensuring that the issues of smuggling of migrants would become a thing of the past so the importance of collaboration cannot be undermined.
“Collaboration with agencies would bring ripple effects that would in turn help in the fight against irregular migration of people.
“We carry out enlightenment programmes to make people understand the dangers that come with going out of the country through improper channels.

“Also, another way in tackling this issue is by capacity building so we need all hands to be on deck to ensure that this menace is stamped out of the society completely,” she said.
She revealed that strict measures had been put in place to checkmate human trafficking at different entry and exit points in the country.
“Border management is important in checkmating human trafficking so we have to put in strict measures as our officials are stationed at various strategic places.
“There are detailed procedures to pass through when leaving the exit points of the country as we believe these measures would help to lessen irregular migration,” she said.
Earlier, Mr Bagiwa Mani, Comptroller, NIS, Lagos Command noted that measures had been put in place to curb irregular migration.
“We have put in some important mechanisms to ensure that irregular migration is curbed to the barest minimum,” he said.
A returnee, Jerry Adelu narrated his plight while trying to migrate irregularly.
“I wanted to migrate to Germany so my contact said it was possible and promised me a better life but when I started the journey, it was a very painful and heartbreaking experience.
“I was just parting away with money I didn’t have because we were going through irregular routes and I was even lucky to be alive.
“As soon as I saw an opportunity to return to Nigeria with help of IOM, you can’t imagine how I felt,” he said.

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