By Temidayo Ajibola

President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Chief Isiguzo, a Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), Festus Ighoteguonor Ahon of the Vanguard Newspapers, Abimbola Oyetunde, the General Manager of Radio Nigeria Bronze FM, Benin City were among winners of the various categories of awards at the 3rd Journalists International Forum For Migration Global Migration (JIFORM) summit in Toronto, Canada.

President, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Christopher Isiguzo, MFR presenting an award to Teresa Jacob of the Home for the Needy, Germany complimented by Linda Schulz, an Executive Board Member of the Home for the Needy, Germany in Toronto on October 15, 2022.

While Isiguzo won the Global Legendary Media award, Festus Ahon and Oyetunde emerged winners of the 2022 Broadcast Legendary Migration Reporter and Migration Reporter Legendary Awards respectively. Adejoke Oni, the JIFORM board Secretary also bagged the Media Legendary Award.

Other Nigerians, Solomon. A. Folorunsho, Onyebo Azuka Clement of the Delta State Taskforce on Human Trafficking and Irregular; and Home for the Needy, Germany also won awards in Humanitarian Leadership categories.

The summit themed: Exploring The Benefits of Migration Post Pandemic Era to Retool Global Economy’s award session was hosted by the Abedorc Productions Inc on Friday.

Speaking, Dr Ajibola Abayomi, the President of the JIFORM said the essence of the annual conference was to maintain a platform to enhance capacity building for journalists and other migration stakeholders in order to deepen policies on human mobility with a view to consolidate on its advantages to the global economy.

Calling for re-ordering of migration order, he said the “contributions of the over 281 million migrants representing 3.6 percent of the world population could be ignored giving the facilitation of over $ USD 714 billion in international remittances transferred globally by migrants and the Diaspora back to origin countries as reported by the World Bank in 2019. Despite the pandemic, the $630 billion remittances record in 2021 into the to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) is an evidence of importance of migration impacts to the global economy.”  

The JIFORM President urged the United Nations to be more firm and rise to the defense of the millions of Africans and citizens of the third world nations constantly being harassed in Europe, North and South Americans and elsewhere under the guise of labeling them as irregular migrants.

He bemoaned various abuses melted out to migrants stating that: “The massacre of the defenseless migrants at the border of Morocco and Spain this year, as well as the continuous inhuman treatment of migrants around the Mediterranean Sea calls for serious investigation and concerns”.

The former Minister of Immigration and Citizenship in Canada, Gerry Weiner; minister for Labour and Social Security, Sierra Leone, Alpha Timbo; the Director of Asia-Pacific Institute of Broadcasting (AIBD), Ms Philomena Gnanapragasam; member African Union Labour Migration and Advisory Committee; HE Dr Asie Kabuki Ocansey from Ghana, Dr Andrew Nevin, members of the Home for the Needy in Nigeria and Germany and others called for collaborations among nations in order to reap the benefits of migration.

Weiner praised the JIFORM for its consistent efforts on migration matters and charged journalists to use the media tool to promote global peace and economic advancement while Timbo called on African nations to unite to implement various treaties to reap to positively impact on migrant mobility especially in West Africa and also to evolve a uniform modalities and penalties against human traffickers.

Ms Philomena hailed the media for promoting the role of migrants during the pandemic and also helped to counter misinformation and infodemic against vaccination which supported the efforts of World Health Organization.

On their parts, both Dr Nevin and Dr Ocansey called for re-organization of labour migration to enlarge the course of international remittances stressing that the contributions of the Diasporas have become necessary addition to economic development in several nations.

Isiguzo while delivering a paper on Global Mobility: The Role Of The Media In The Advancement Of Safe, Orderly And Regular Migration, said for the media to effectively promote regular migration: “It is clear that migration reporting needs to have its own recognizable structure. It has to emerge from a clearly defined context. It needs direction and purpose.

“Reporting migration issues is comparative journalism and requires intellectual analysis. It also requires an understanding of geography. The reporter must have a deep knowledge of his country before he can report intelligently about another foreign country. Special barriers like culture, language and censorship, cost of living may be considered while carrying out such an assignment”.

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