The Federal Government has urged African countries to check illegal migration of their youths to foreign countries as it exposes them to unspeakable treatments and untimely death.
Dr Garba Abari, the Executive Secretary, National Orientation Agency (NOA), said this at a sensitisation programme on “Migrating Worst Forms of Illegal Migration in Africa.’’
The programme was organised by Young Journalists Forum (YJF) of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
Abari, who was represented by Mr Gerald Adewole, Director, Public Education and Mass Mobilisation of the agency, said that all hands must be on deck to curb illegal migration to foreign countries.
“There has been exponential increase in the number of illegal migrants from Africa to Europe.
“These illegal migrants include young men and women in desperate quest for better condition of living abroad.
“They are motivated by illusion that the mere entry into these foreign countries is automatic passport to greener pasture.
“Several hundreds of young Africans, including Nigerians, who set out from Libya or Morocco to Europe get perished in the Mediterranean Sea.
“Those who are lucky enough to survive the highly risky journey across the Mediterranean to Europe soon get to find out that life is not a bed of roses in that part of the world.”
According to him, the menace of illegal migration has grave implication to Nigeria in particular and Africa in general.
Abari said that Nigeria and the entire African continent must rise up to the occasion of sensitising youths on the dangers of illegal migration.
He also urged the media to evolve a robust and sustainable campaign to saturate the social space with information about the status of illegal migrants.
“The NOA shall continue to vigorously implement public education programmes aimed at sensitising Nigerians to the danger of illegal migration and the need to embrace the change necessary for personal development.
“The campaign to curb the menace of illegal migration is the responsibility of all Nigerians,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Chukwuma Nzeh, the National Coordinator, Young Journalists Forum (YJF), said that the programme was organised to sensitise Nigerians within and outside to desist from the desperation of embarking on illegal migration.
“We are in no way discouraging legitimate travels abroad because it broadens the horizon.
“We use this opportunity to call on young media practitioners to embark on advocacy to end this trend,’’ he said.
Nzeh advised African countries to promote the establishment of a Youth Think tank to meet and proffer suggestions on the way to integrate youths into national life.
He urged the Federal Government to promote agricultural equipment rentals in senatorial districts and to also create access to land by amending the Land Use Act.