By Sunday Ani
A frontline organisation in the campaign against irregular migration in Nigeria, The Migrant Project (TMP), has taken the project a notch higher.
Apart from the campaigns against the scourge through the media and word of mouth, the organisation has decided to build the capacity of young Nigerians in digital marketing to create more jobs for youths as a way of stemming the tide of irregular migration among them. This was as a result of its findings that most people who had embarked on the journey in the past did so because they were looking for greener pastures, as there were no jobs for them in Nigeria.
Last week, TMP organised a programme where the first batch of 40 young Nigerians was trained on digital marketing skills. The second batch of another 40 young Nigerians would be trained on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 18 and 19, respectively.
According to the team lead, TMP Lagos, Mrs. Amaka Nneji, the digital training was to assist them in building their brands and selling their products, as it would help to make the public aware of what they were doing, so that they could earn more money.
She noted that most Nigerians have the erroneous impression that one can only succeed by travelling out of the country. This notion, she said, had disappointed most of them because when they get there, what they envisage is not always what they see or what they meet.
“So, we are trying to help the youths to develop skills. A lot of them have skills but their problem is how to market those skills; right now, they are not making much money from their skills, and that is why we have come to teach the young people how to market their products using digital skills,” she said.
She stated that TMP was not only focused on campaigns against irregular migration but also provides information on opportunities in Nigeria and other countries: “So, we try to bring this information to the youths to give them a livelihood, to empower them so they won’t think that travelling is the only solution to their problem.
“We want them to know that there are possibilities in Nigeria. So, they should make use of such opportunities before attempting to leave the country. If you can make it in Nigeria, you can make it anywhere; and without education, training and skills, it will be hard to make it outside the country. Why not get all those things here before leaving? We also educate them on the many right ways available to travel out of the country. With your skills and training, there are many right ways to travel legally,” she said.
The training was meant for young Nigerians between 18 and 35 years. Most of them already have skills but claim they are not making enough money and that is why they want to migrate out of the country. So, we teach them how to make money using the Internet and computers to pull in more customers. We have about 40 people right now. This is a two-day training in digital marketing, where we teach them how to use social media platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook and other Google apps and Internet applications to sell their products and make money. So, we are discouraging irregular migration, and creating opportunities for people to work by partnering with other organizations,” she said.
One of the participants, 18-year-old Oduji Chidera, admitted the training would help her to expand her mother’s fashion business. “What I enjoy in this training is the fact that I am making use of my phone. I am not a phone person, but this training has taught me how to use my phone. When people see an Android phone, they think it is only used to play games and watch videos, not knowing that they can even improve themselves with their phones,” she said.
Another participant, 26-year-old, Christian Odinanwa, a trader, described the training as great and enlightening. Odinanwa, who sells drinks and provisions, said the training would help to increase the capacity of his business and also give him more knowledge to expand it.
“I feel great being part of the training. I advise others to take part in the digital world because it will help them a great deal in their business and life endeavours. I thank TMP for the programme,” he said.
In a related development, a similar training was recently organised by TMP Edo State, in collaboration with Graceland Computer Institute.
According to the Team Lead, TMP Edo, Felicia Oare Ehimanre, the training on digital marketing skills was informed by the observations of the Field Counsellors. “The training would discourage some of our target audience whose interest is to travel out of Nigeria for greener pastures. This training would maximize their skills by using smartphones to make more money. It is just one-day training,” she stated.
Participants at the training held at Oredo Local Government Area of Edo State, expressed satisfaction with the training and thanked TMP for the opportunity.