Edo State First Lady, Betsy Obaseki, has blamed bad governance in the country in the past as the reason for irregular migration phenomenon that is predominant in the country.
She was speaking on the occasion of a one day Equipment Handing Over Ceremony of the Dare to Hope Project in Edo State organised by the Action Aid Nigeria in Benin City with the theme: “Creation of alternatives to irregular migration through socio-economic empowerment and sensitization.”
According to her, “It(irregular migration by Nigerians) is a phenomenon that has occurred as a result of bad governance in the past.
“I always liken it to a family where you have a mother and a father raising children and the parents who are the ones who brought these children into the world and are responding for them fail in their duties to provide for those children.
“And then because of the lack of provision and failure in meeting the children’s needs the children now leave home and go outside to look for what they need to survive in life.
“That’s what happens in a state or in a country where you have hordes of your citizens leaving the country and going to look for greener pastures outside.
“It has happened because what they need in a country the country has failed to provide for them. That’s why I keep saying to people you will not blame my young boys and girls who have done what they did (irregular migration).
“If we have responsible government since our independence to-date, Nigeria should be one of the most developed countries in the world today with all of the resources that God has blessed us with.
“But it is not and we all know the reason why. We thank God for the current government we have both at federal and state level for working hard to bring about the change that we need in our country to make Nigeria better and great again like we have in Edo State.”
She poured encomium on Action Aid Nigeria for organising the programme.
“They (Action Aid Nigeria) have come to Edo State knowing that Edo State was number one in the whole world battling and struggling with the problem of illegal migration and human trafficking.
“And they on their own decided to come to help us tackle this problem. What they are doing is a serious intervention, helping us show our young people that you can make a good living here if you have the right support.”
Earlier, the Country Director of Action Aid Nigeria, Ene Obi, had stated that “the creation of alternatives to migration through socio-economic development and sensitization project implemented by Action Aid and its partners, was conceptualised and being implemented specifically to tackle the root causes of irregular by training, equipping and mentoring youths in various skill areas such as hairdressing, fish farming, makeup artistry, shoe and bag making, poultry, aluminium fabrication, and bead making.
“The overall objective the project is to contribute to improving socio-economic conditions of young people so that they can make informed and voluntary choices, instead of being forced by economic causes to migrate.”
To the graduands she said: “To which much is given, much is expected. You have been trained, formed into cooperatives, you will be equipped today and will receive seed grants of N650,000 per cooperative to further support the businesses of the groups (amounting to N32,500,000 for the 50 groups).
“We believe the sky will only be your starting point. Action Aid Nigeria will continue to monitor your performance while engaging with our donor to see how we can further support the outstanding beneficiaries who have demonstrated consistency, passion and dedication in their chosen trade.”
In their goodwill messages, Mr. Joel Edionwe, the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Wealth Creation and Hajia Khadijat Inusa Imonofi, chairperson of Etsako West Local Government Council of Edo State, charged the 1000 beneficiaries to make good use of the skills that they have acquired and the equipment that were handed over to them.