By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
The State Focal person for Civil Society Network on Migration and Development, Nigeria ( CSOnetMade), pastor Ade Bodunde has said there is need to advocate safe, regular migration to communities, local governments, and states in order to make people know its benefits.
He said the outbreak of COVID-19 exposed a lot of lapses in Nigeria migration activities where Nigerians were stranded abroad.
This occurrence, he said made the network understood federal government alone could not handle migration.
Bodunde stated this during an advocacy visit to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Kwara state Council Chairman Mallam Umar AbdulWahab on Wednesday.
According to him, “December 18th is the International day of Migrants, that is why we are trying to step up awareness.
“The lockdown owing to COVID-19 pandemic exposed us to a lot of things, where Nigerian migrants were stranded in various countries and they were appealing to government to bring them in.
“This made us understand it is a serious matter which cannot be left to handle by Federal government alone.
“We need to step up advocacy at community, local government and state level in order to make people aware of regular and safe migration.
“Regular in the sense that, going through official process, ensuring we are able to track them wherever they are.
“Even when they have challenges in their place of destination,” he said.
He said proper migrants data would reduce security challenges to the barest minimum, it would help to attract the caliber of technically competent people to the country and enhance the country’s capital inflow.
In his response, the NUJ Chairman Mallam Umar AbdulWahab said he was impressed with the coalition of civil society teeming up to address the anomalies in Migration activities, adding that when we come together as one, we are stronger.
He noted it was a commendable effort that Nigeria joined other countries of the world to mark the International Day of migrants.
He said the migrants issue is a one-issue we needed to beam our search light on, as it’s underreported, adding that Journalists needed information so as to make up a better story.
AbdulWahab said the Union in her own little way, would see how to work with the network so as to change the narrative.
The Chairman urged the network to meet those at the elms of affairs to ease the process of migration.
He, however, assured the network that, the Union will do the needful as situations demand.