Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Republic of Germany and the Pan African Institute for Global Affairs and Strategy (PAIGAS), have held discussions in Abuja on how to end the scourge of irregular migration in the country.
The meeting which held as a result of the upsurge in irregular migration in the country, particularly amongst the youths, was part of the activities lined up for the visiting German State Minister at the Federal Chancellery and Commissioner for Migration, Refugees, and Integration, Annette Widmann-Mauz.
Speaking after the meeting, Widmann-Mauz said PAIGAS was a good example to show how Germany wishes that people should avoid illegal migration and to support legal migration.
The minister added that the German Government often noticed how painful it was and how much suffering people go through when they embark on irregular migration.
She added that on the other side, there were so many prospectives which western countries have to inform the public about and give guidance accordingly and support.
“Germany, in its supporting centres, and wide centres, we have language training, we have vocational training, somewhere people see that they have a real prospective to get regular way of migration and therefore, we have to work hand in hand,” Widmann-Mauz said.
The minister further said there were so many rumours about Europe and about Germany in terms of irregular migration, saying however that the situation could be made a triple win.
“It is good for the people, they can avoid suffering and pain and they can support and have effort for the country of origin because the best people could bring all their potentials in their own country and we can support outside Europe and Germany, from a good, trained workers which we need and therefore, we can give them a legal way and a legal path to emigrate,” the minister added.
Earlier, the president of PAIGAS and former permanent secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, said the meeting which lasted for over half an hour, was in furtherance of the goodwill and cooperation that the German Government had with PAIGAS in addressing some of the current issues that afflict not just Nigeria, but on the global scene.
Uhomoibhi further said aside environmental climate change and terrorism, irregular migration was one of the greatest challenges facing the global community.
“And we have been speaking on this matter because PAIGAS as an institute, made up of retired career ambassadors, is very concerned and has been involved in the fighting against irregular migration and the hazard that this has posed to Nigerian young people for the past three years.
“So, we have hosted the distinguished minister and we have discussed a whole lot of issues surrounding this matter and we hope that this would be a stepping stone to broadening and deepening the relations which exists between us as a Nigerian non-governmental organisation concerned about stemming the tide of irregular migration,” Uhomoibhi said.
The minister also had collaborative discussions with the National Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Basheer Garba Mohammed and officials of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
At the office of the IOM, Widmann-Mauz expressed satisfaction with the work they were doing in the country, particularly in the area of reintegration of returnees from Libya.
“It is so important to give them prospectives, for economic security and stability for social security and for their mental health because it is really a critical situation, but it is good to give them and to have this prospectives,” Widmann-Mauz stated.
Also speaking, IOM Chief of Mission, Frantz Celestin, said discussion with the visiting German minister was centred around migration.
“What IOM is doing with funding from the German Government takes a 360 degree look at migration, not only on the movement side of it, but people coming back, and also looking after those that are coming back.
“We get considerable funding from the German Government to make sure we provide sustainable reintegration to those coming back home and we also receive funding from the German Government to assist the Nigerian Government to effectively manage its borders that allows the Nigerian Government to know who is coming in, who is going out, for what purpose and for how long,” Celestin said.