By Our Reporter
As Nigeria celebrates 60 years of independence, the Journalists International Forum For Migration, JIFORM, with Headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria comprising of over 200 journalists spread across the continents covering migration issues has admonished the Federal Government to address critical social economic factors fueling irregular migration from the country to other parts of the world.
The media foundation praised the President Muhammadu Buhari led government for several interventions leading to the rescue of stranded Nigerians particularly in the Middle East and many Arab nations in conjunction with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), it however pointed out that more efforts must be geared towards improving the economy in the areas of job creation, affordable education, improved infrastructure, eradication of multiple taxation and incessant tariff increment.
JIFORM in a statement signed by its President/Executive Director, Ajibola Abayomi on Thursday congratulated the nation for her steadfastness on unity since independence but noted that the nation could not continue to live in the denial of negative consequences of irregular migration as evident in the millions of Nigerian women/ children languishing in slavery abroad as a result human trafficking. To forestall future occurrence the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) must be strengthened and put on its toes.
“We commend President Buhari’s leadership for trying to reposition the unstable economy it inherited, now at 60, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the government is supported by all to improve migration governance targeted at the avalanche of opportunities in the diaspora economies. Going forward, this is time to encourage purposeful migration of Nigerians abroad in a safe, orderly and regular manner.
“Giving the huge revenue being generated from activities of migrants through a remittance system by both the developed and developing nations, it is clear that migration is not a crime if properly packaged and dovetailed into realistic policies which Nigeria should benefit from. Let the government empower the office of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) to do more on this in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“However, we want to counsel that the Federal Government must be mindful of the way tariffs on essential commodities like fuel, electricity, water and others are being increased. The increase is a driver and lead push factor that will encourage desperate migration of Nigerians to other nations if not addressed.
“In all, JIFORM foresees Nigeria emerging a force to be reckoned with in the global economy if other various positive efforts of the Buhari’s government channeled towards economic growth are sustained. At the season of independence Nigerians should continue to close ranks, embrace peace and unity as conditions to pave for growth of local and foreign investments” the JIFORM President said.