By Tito Philips

L-R: President, Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM), former Comptroller General, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Muhammad Babandede ,OFR, and Mrs. Maureen Ovie, Head of Migrant Resource Center (MRC) and Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment during the JIFORM workshop in Abuja on May 22.

The Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM), migration across has lauded the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) on its support for capacity building for journalists covering migration and called for partnership to sustain the effort through the Nigerian-German Center for Jobs Migration and Reintegration (NGC).

The commendation was contained in the report of the recently concluded two-day workshop on sensitization, strategy, and reportage on irregular migration and trafficking in persons organized by the JIFORM for journalists supported by the NGC between 22nd – 23rd, May in Abuja.

NGC is a product of close partnership between the GIZ and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment’s Migrant Resource Center ( MRC) supporting the Programme Migration Development (PME) being implemented by the GIZ GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Nigeria as part of support for the voluntary return and sustainable reintegration.

Dr Ajibola Abayomi, the President of the JIFORM in a statement while commending the NGC said: “The JIFORM greatly appreciates the NGC, and GIZ for the support. The echoes of the training have continued to vibrate within the editorial rooms of media houses as select-journalists have been turning in reports and stories to justify the capacity building engagement.

“While the JIFORM cherishes this newly consummated working relationship, we remain committed to tackling issues of human trafficking and irregular migration both in Nigeria and beyond. We shall continue to partner with the relevant actors to build capacity for journalists.

“Going by the evaluation of migration activities in Nigeria, we are requesting continuous engagement of journalists at intervals through knowledge sharing workshops on different focal areas to further strengthen relationships with the NGC targeted at improving migration management” Ajibola requested.

The JIFORM president noted that the NGC’s efforts through support and one-on-one advice on employment, business, vocational and educational perspectives in Nigeria between December 2017 and December 2022 were very impactful on many Nigerians.

Record shown that the in Nigeria, the PME has provided over 282,000 individuals support measures to the returnees and the local population, provided almost 60,000 individual consultations, placed over 30,000 persons in employment apart from the over 42,000 business start-up measure, over 133,000 qualifications measures and over 1600 psychosocial supports.

Ajibola, added that the NGC’s support for returnee Nigerian- migrants over the years in conjunction with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) was a project worth building upon by the Nigerian government.

Parts of the recommendations at the JIFORM workshop were that the Federal Government should to negotiate decent jobs with the employers of labour in Europe, Asia, America, and other parts of the globe through a well-coordinated regular migration pathway preferably under the watch of the Ministry of Labour and Employment in order to de-market irregular migration and human trafficking markets from the country.

Media houses were urged to encourage more investigative stories on migration while the federal government was also advised to approve arm bearing unit for the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In persons (NAPTIP) to enable the agency effectively contained some notorious human traffickers.

It was also recommended that the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and other government agencies should track illicit funds being raised by human traffickers while the proceed should be plough back into the rehabilitation of the victims.

The JIFORM is a non-profit body with over 300 journalists covering migration across the continents since 2019 and has organized a series of local and international capacity-building for journalists and other stakeholders. It’s headquarters is in Lagos, Nigeria.

In 2021, it initiated the annual African Migration Summit held in Ghana in partnership with Nekotech Center of Excellence, Accra, the West African Media Migration Summit in Lome Togo and held its 3rd Global Migration Summit in Toronto, Canada in October 2022.

The body in collaboration with the City University, New York City, US between November 2-4, in Brooklyn hosted an intercontinental migration summit. The JIFORM 4th Global Migration Summit on Migration is slated for October 2-14 in Toronto