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As part of measures to checkmate the growing trend of irregular migration, the European Union Bank is setting aside $1 billion for the empowerment of Nigerian youths and others from other for African countries.
Disclosing this during the launch of “Managing Migration Through Development Programmes (MMDP), Coordination Matrix,” in Benin City, the Edo State capital, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Ketil Karlsen, however, warned that the EU would not fund any state operating in isolation without involving local stakeholders.
He commended the efforts of Governor Godwin Obaseki and President Muhammadu Buhari for working to see Nigeria drop to sixth position in countries providing irregular migrants to Europe.
On his part, Obaseki called for collaborative effort among stakeholders in curbing the scourge of irregular migration and human trafficking, saying that his government would create a platform for better collaboration and cooperation among stakeholders, avoid duplication of efforts and improve efficiency in migration management.
According to him, the state government had in the last one year entered into collaboration with key partners, which has significantly changed the narrative as regards the fight against the scourge.
“Since the launch of Round Table Dialogue in Abuja in May this year, several partnership had been given birth to which have contributed to the success stories” Obaseki said.
Also speaking, Mr. Martin Eze, who represented the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofffery Onyema, said that over 8,000 Nigerian migrants trapped in Libyan prisons had been evacuated and returned home.
He said: “More efforts need to be made in this direction, more so as thousands of migrants are still trapped in various Libyan migrant cells.
“There should be unrelenting efforts in sensitising our youths on the dangers inherent to irregular migration at all levels.”
The minister appealed to foreign partners, especially countries in EU, to smoothen their visa issuance process to make it easy eligible Nigerians who have genuine reasons to travel.

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