By Lucky Isibor
The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ) is building alliances with State and Non-State Actors to tackle issues around irregular migration and tackling corruption as wider approach in stemming the ugly tide.
The Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev. David Ugolor disclosed this Wednesday at the presentation of the research report on “Corruption Migration Nexus” to stakeholders at Vichi Gates Hotel, Benin City.
Ugolor noted that the research which was conducted by ANEEJ with support from the Swiss Embassy in Nigeria was geared towards enhancing the knowledge of citizens, civil society organizations, media and policy makers on the nexus between good governance and drivers of irregular migration.
While giving a brief summary of the research findings, Ugolor said, “the research ‘Corruption Migration Nexus’ seeks to improve the knowledge base of citizens, civil society organizations, media and policy makers on the issues of good governance and open budgeting processes in support of civic engagement.
“The findings of the research show from the annual budgets presented that there is demonstrable commitment by the Government of Edo State to provide for socio-economic development. However, implementation of the budgets has not been sufficient to drive the expected development.
“Secondly, CSOs in Edo State are not acting in unison for meaningful engagement in the budgetary process and public contracting.”
According to ANEEJ Executive Director, “ANEEJ through this research seeks to promote the adoption of a holistic approach in dealing with the challenge of migration that grasp the society – wide implications of the issue, provide a clear roadmap that builds on the ongoing efforts of the Edo State Task Force on Anti-Human Trafficking and strengthen extant partnerships with relevant development actors such as the International Organization of Migration. We also hope to build strategic partnerships with civil society organizations in the state within a framework of collective action to ensure the practicality and effectiveness of ongoing proposed policies and programmes.”
In a goodwill message, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, and Head of Edo State Task Force on Human Trafficking, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe urged participants at the presentation ceremony to look at how budgetary allocation affects education.
According to Prof. Omorogbe who was represented by Bamidele Ikusika, personal research assistant to the Attorney General, “we will all come to realize that at the very foundation of human capital development is education. Former South African president, Nelson Mandela once said that the greatest weapon to change the world is education, and where education goes, there civilization goes. So it is very important that we look into how budgetary allocation, especially in the state affects education.”
In her remarks, the Zonal Commander, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Benin Zonal Office, Mrs. Ijeoma Uduak disclosed that the agency has been carrying out public enlightenment to educate the public on the ills of irregular migration and human trafficking, rescuing victims of human trafficking; counselling them and reintegrating them back into the society.
Mrs. Uduak while assuring that the agency will continue to put in efforts to prevent the scourge of irregular migration and human trafficking, said the agency has been prosecuting offenders and secured some convictions.
Presenting the report of the research, the researcher, Dr. Oscar Ubhenin urged participants to make input into the findings and recommendation and called for further trainings for members of civil societies and media to broaden their knowledge on how to use the research output as advocacy tool to engage state actors on increased budgetary allocation for human capital development as means of stemming irregular migration.