Wife of the Edo State Governor, Betsy Obaseki, has identified man-made poverty, greed and bad governance by past administrations in Nigeria as the root causes of irregular migration.
Obaseki made the remark on Tuesday in her speech at the end of: “Project dissemination on the creation of alternatives to migration through socio-economic development,” implemented in the state by ActionAid Nigeria.
She said God blessed Nigeria with enormous resources to make every Nigerian comfortable but regretted that they were mismanaged due to bad governance.
She said: “It is poverty that has made many to go out of the state.
“But it is sheer greed for those who are comfortable but decided to go out to make more dollars to come and build houses.
“For the ignorant, a lot of them were lured away but when they got there, they found out that it was a different story.
“So, poverty is responsible.
“And who is responsible for it?
“If the past governments we had in our country had done well, we would not have had this problem of irregular migration.”
According to Obaseki, people leave the country because they have no hope, no form of livelihood, nothing to do, because of failure in managing the resources.
She added: “It is the bad management of the resources that God has given us by past governments that causes all these.
“So we must tackle it because there is no where better than home.”
In her address of welcome, the Country Director of ActionAid, Ene Obi, also identified unemployment as one of the main causes of forced migration.
Obi, who was represented by the Director of Programmes, Tasallah Chibok, said the overall objective of the project was to contribute toward improving the socio-economic condition of young Nigerians.
She said the essence was to enable them to make informed and voluntary choices, instead of being forced by economic and security reasons to migrate.
She said current statistics show that over 50 per cent of Nigerian youths were either unemployed or under-employed.
Obi said: “Fact remains that Nigeria currently is ranked the fifth nation in the world for number of citizens migrating to Europe in search of better living conditions or in the effort to escape poverty and conflicts.
“The leading cause or factor for this huge movement of a portion of the Nigerian population is the search for income alternatives by Nigerians for themselves and their families
“The creation of alternative to migration through socio-economic development, sensitisation and conflict prevention project implemention specifically is to tackle the root cause of irregular migration, by training and equipping 2,000 youths in various trades.”
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the project was organised by ActionAid Nigeria in partnership with ActionAid Italy and Italian Ministry of Interior to assist deported irregular migrants to set up their own businesses.