By Ajibola Abayomi

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (CGI), Isah Jere Idris, MFR and his predecessor, Muhammad Babandede have commended the Nigerian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (NGC) and the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM).

The commendations were made at the opening ceremony of the 2-day JIFORM’s workshop on sensitization strategies and reportage on Irregular Migration and human trafficking held in Abuja on Monday.

From L-R:  Comptroller James Sunday of Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Rivers State; Rtd Comptroller Mannir Yari; Dr Ajibola Abayomi,  the President, Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM);  Assistant Controller General (ACG) Ngozi Odikpo, the acting Deputy Comptroller General of Immigration, the representative of the Comptroller General NIS, Isah Jere; Ex-NIS Comptroller General NIS and CEO of Sure For You And Resettlement Initiative, Muhammad Babandede OFR; Mrs Ovie Maureen, Head Migrant Resource Centres (MRC), Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and Mrs Tolulope Olaiya, the NGC Coordinator at the workshop for journalists on the capacity building for the media on migration matters in Abuja on May 23, 2023.

Represented by Assistant Controller General (ACG) Ngozi Odikpo, the acting Deputy Comptroller General Migration, the CGI Isah Jere, thanked the NGC for identifying journalists in the country.

He however charged media practitioners in the country to use “ journalism skills to inform the public on the ills of Irregular Migration and also investigate where reports are made on Irregular Migration. You can in turn proffer workable solutions to this scourge and other problems which can facilitate regular Migration.

“I have taken note of your contributions in Migration Management since 2019 especially in capacity building for Journalists. Also noted is your information on the fourth edition of the JIFORM Global summit which is scheduled to take place from 2-14 October, 2023 in Toronto, Canada.  

He encouraged you the JIFORM to  work with local and International Organizations whose primary mandate is to promote safe and Regular Migration like International Organization for Migration (IOM), FIIAPP, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and International Center for Migration Policy Development ICMPD).

Speaking, Babandede said “ it is pertinent that the media enlighten the populace about the dangers of irregular migration, TIP and SOM through. An example of using entertainment to sensitize the public about the negative impact of these vices, is the production of a Television series titled.

 “The Missing Steps”, which is a collaborative effort between IOM Nigeria and the Swiss Federation: the script of which I developed. However, a lot still needs to be done, because a large portion of the population is still ignorant of the dangers and menaces of these vices. This is where the media needs to have a robust strategy for effective enlightenment as well as dissemination of information on the perpetrators.”

Tolulope Olaiya who represented The Team Leader of the NGC, a programme under the German Corporation for International Development (GIZ), Ms Sandra Vermuijten, which implements the “Returning to New Opportunities of Programme” of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) said the agency would continue to support the JIFORM capacity building initiative for journalists.

Tolulope, the Abuja Coordinator of the NGC said the organization appreciated “the central role the media plays in shaping public awareness about the issues of migration. Words carry more significance beyond the pages they are printed on; they could have devastating effects on victims of human trafficking, for example; they could also open the public’s eyes to false hopes that are peddled by bad actors. 

“There is no doubt that this two-day workshop aimed at enhancing the capacity of journalists on evidence based reporting and a better understanding of migration management will contribute to broadening the knowledge of journalists on migration issues to present migration reportage that positively influences and impacts migration policies and implementation in the country.

“Our programme, the Programme, Migration for Development (PME),is implemented by the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in close partnership with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, particularly its Migrant Resource Centres. The programme is part of the BMZ support for voluntary return and sustainable reintegration.

“Between December 2017 to December 2022, the BMZ programme has provided over 282, 000 individual support measures to returnees and the local population, provided almost 60,000 individual consultations, placed over 30,000 persons in employment, provided over 42,000 business start-up measures, over 133,000 qualification measures and provided over 1600 psychosocial support services.”

Speakers at the workshop were Dr Ajibola Abayomi, President of JIFORM; Comptroller NIS Rivers State, James Sunday, Vincent Adekoye, National Press Officer, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP), and Mrs Ovie Maureen, the Head of Migrant Resource Centres, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

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