Ajibola Abayomi

Covid-19 Should Humble Africa To Halt Irregular Migration, Says JIFORM

The Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) has
released a comprehensive report on its recently concluded online
summit with a call to the African leaders to change the tide of
irregular migration from the continent to other nations through
economic reactivation.

JIFORM admonished African countries to copy the home grown technology
being used in Senegal to the spread of Covid-19 by inventing ventilators and other test kids instead of waiting help from the
advanced nations.

The three-day event with the theme: Migration; Post Covid-19 Era: The
Role of stakeholders was the second edition of the virtual engagement
organized by the body to update its over 150 members across the
continents reporting migration and championing advocacy against
irregular migration, human, trafficking and crisis leading to the
internal displacement of citizens in nations.

Participants at the event included International Organization for
Migration (IOM), Gambia, Shingirai Vambe, Journalist and the Publisher
of The Post on Sunday, Zimbabwe, Nigeria Immigration Service,
Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM).

Others are former President, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr
Abdul-Waheed Odusile and Professor Kanu Ikechukwu Anthony, O.S.A, the
Rector of Villanova Polytechnic, Imesi-Ile, Osun State.

President/ Executive Director of JIFORM, Ajibola Abayomi while sharing
details of the report in a statement, said “It has become imperative
to sensitise our members and the public on the implications of
Covid-19 on the economy, migration and what should be done to safe
guard nations post the pandemic era.
“We are of the belief that the reality of the current situation should
humble especially the African continent to have a rethink on quality

_For years, the leadership on the continents had embraced
corruption as a way of life by abandoning investment in agriculture, education, infrastructure, commerce and industry, health and social
security for the masses.
“While we are convinced that the pandemic days are numbered if all
health procedures and scientific steps are adopted, JIFORM salutes the
courage of health workers, the media and all organizations striving to
put the current situation under control. However, Government as a
matter of urgency should give direct palliatives to the citizens and
businesses through transparent processes beyond what is being
witnessed where lockdown are effected.
“Thus, we are demanding that journalists should be listed among the
front liners at this critical period and all necessary palliatives,
financial supports and insurance packages should be provided for them
and other volunteers monitoring the disease.”
The President of JIFORM added that it was expedient for many African
nations to stem the tide of irregular migration, by encouraging local
or home industrialization in order to provide jobs for the teaming
youths and lessen dependency on foreign goods.

Other recommendations from the JIFORM summit are as follows:

  1. Nations should adopt inclusive approach to include provision for
    the health care for migrants irrespective of their status whether regular or irregular.
  2. Nations should avoid the stigmatization of migrants as carriers of the disease.
  3. Governments in Africa especially in Nigeria should ensure timely
    evacuation of citizens that had expressed the desire to return home during the current pandemic irrespective of their migrants’ status.
  4. Nations should go beyond lip service to agriculture development and
    evolve policies and schemes that would encourage farmers to grow food bank as alternative to importation of food, especially in Africa.
  5. Employers should explore possibility of employment terms
    renegotiation with loyal and dedicated employees instead of
    terminating their appointments. We must emphasize employers’ loyalty as this has great consequences on the future of every organization.

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