BEING A TEXT OF SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE PRESIDENT OF JOURNALISTS INTERNATIONAL FORUM FOR MIGRATION (JIFORM), AJIBOLA ABAYOMI, AT THE OPENING SESSION OF A 3-DAY ONLINE SUMMIT FOR MIGRATION JOURNALISTS FROM THURSDAY, APRIL 23 TO SATURDAY, APRIL 25, 2020.

PROTOCOL,
DISTINGUISHED GUEST SPEAKERS,
DEAR COLLEAGUES,
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

We are once again gathered to reflect on the state of migration and happenings around the globe.
I commend all of us for our conduct during the last summit held on April 4, 2020.
The zeal of JIFORM members and commitment towards the reportage of migration matters before and after the event were encouraging.
The theme of today’s lecture, Migration; Post Covid-19 Era: The Role of Stakeholders speaks volume of why we must be more concerned about our profession as journalists covering migration; the emerging global economic order; the need to ensure that we put an end to the current pandemic occasioned by corona virus and also what becomes of us after this challenging moment.
Competent speakers have been assembled to do justice to the theme of the lecture. I have no doubt that their inputs will impact on us positively.
Thanks to the National Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Deputy Comptroller, Sunday James; the Rector of Villanova Polytechnic, Imesi-Ile, Nigeria, Professor Kanu Ikechukwu Anthony; the Communication Officer of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Gambia, Mr Miko Alazas; the Director of Communication, Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Mr Abdulrahman Balogun and other notable speakers for accepting JIFORM invitation to be with us.
Of course, despite the huge task at hand to contain the spread of the disease, there is hope that the present trouble will become history soon.
As migration journalists, we must therefore not fail to make the lessons being learnt count in future day to day life by re-orientating the people to be more committed to nation building and the need for the government to be more responsible to the governed.
In Africa, there is need to reappraise the migration policy and make it tally with the economic mentality. The reality at the moment is that many Governments on the continent have failed woefully to invest in health, agriculture, infrastructure, education, commerce and industry as well as social security of the citizens.
If we must reach our goals and live the dreams of the founding fathers, clearly both the government and the people must have to rededicate themselves and amend their ways.
On our part, JIFORM shall continue to provide avenues for its members to improve their capacity by working closely with the development partners.
We shall continue to be bothered about the wellbeing of migrants, their contributions as economic developers and the need to respect all the laid down rule of engagements in different countries.
Solutions to the economic challenges in the world lie in the manner countries manage migration policy. People cannot but move from one location to the other for the purpose of commerce, relationship, survival, safety and others.
Irrespective of the challenges posed by Covid-19, we must begin to think about life after the present pandemic. We must refrain from stigmatizing victims of the disease and be our brothers’ keepers.
At this juncture, kudos to the IOM, both in Nigeria and in other nations for committing resources to fight the disease, the show of concern and love are commendable.
Dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, the purpose of our coming together must not be lost in transit. We want you all to be part of solutions in your respective countries by contributing to quality governance and robust migration debate in order to open more doors for economic prosperities.
For us to do that, we must stay safe and well by doing our best to adhere to all health procedures and scientific steps to put an end to coronavirus.
Let us spread the message of safety and not panic. Victory is certain and we shall jointly celebrate if we set our minds on the right migration policy.
Thank you.

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