NIDOE endorses migration awareness campaign in Nigeria

Kenneth Gbandi, chairman of NIDOE, speaking on the Diaspora role in discouraging irregular migration at the recent Nigerian Diaspora Global Development Conference in London /Photo: The African Courier

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The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE) has expressed its full support for the awareness campaign on irregular migration being carried out by Migration Enlightenment Project Nigeria (MEPN).

The Central Executive Council of NIDOE described the campaign as a necessary and timely intervention which deserves the support of all Nigerians in the Diaspora.

NIDOE said the MEPN, an initiative of the African-German Information Centre (AGIC), Germany, and The African Courier Publishers, Germany – supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was a clear evidence that the Diaspora was taking its responsibility seriously on the issue of irregular migration.

The organisation enjoined all Nigerians to support the initiative by giving a correct picture of life in their various countries of residence to their friends and families in Nigeria. NIDOE noted that lack of information and knowledge of the realities of migration push young Nigerians into the hands of people smugglers.

At the just-concluded Nigerian Diaspora Global Development Conference 2018 in London, a panel discussion was devoted to Migration and Development. Hon. Kenneth Gbandi, director of African-German Information Centre, Germany, and chairman of NIDOE, spoke at length on the wrong perception of migration in Nigeria. “Many young people have been led to believe that they only have to leave the country for their problems to be solved,” Gbandi, who is also co-director of MEPN, said. “Such an erroneous impression has unfortunately led to the doom of too many.”

The NIDOE chief called for concerted efforts by all of society to correct the situation, which he said has been responsible for the unnecessary death and suffering of thousands of Nigerians in the process of irregular migration.

Gbandi said it’s important for the Diaspora to wade into the situation otherwise it would be shirking in its responsibility. “We have a duty to tell our people at home the truth,” he concluded.

Femi Awoniyi, publisher, The African Courier and co-director of MEPN, spoke on how the Diaspora could play an important role in the management of irregular migration due to its enormous costs to the country.

“Migration is a fact of the human experience and it’s legitimate for people to seek a better life wherever they think they can find it. However, there is an unrealistic perception of migration as the ultimate solution in the quest for self-actualisation among African youths,” Awoniyi said, while delivering a paper on “Irregular Migration: Diaspora taking responsibility” at the 3-day conference.

Awoniyi observed that the only reason why migration had become a very attractive option is that young people do not believe that there is hope for them in Nigeria.

“Yet, migrants from countries as far-flung as China, India, Malaysia and Indonesia, go to Nigeria because they see opportunities there,” he noted.

“The MEPN campaign therefore encourages young Nigerians to take a proper look at all the options available to them before deciding to emigrate.

“Hence the core of our message is Look before you Leave! This is the message that we enjoin the Diaspora to help pass to our young people at home,” he said in conclusion.

Sola Jolaoso