The European Union Parliament says it will partner Edo Government to evolve solution to illegal migration which is common to the union and the state.
Dr Josef Weidenholzer, Chairman, Sub-committee on Human Rights, EU Parliament, made this known when he led a delegation of the Parliament on a visit to Edo Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, in Benin on Friday.
Weidenholzer said that helping the state to curb illegal migration would strengthen existing ties between EU and Nigeria and create a win-win situation for both.
“We want to improve the stable relationship EU has with Nigeria and set up a common agenda in tackling trafficked migration since the people are actually forced into the phenomenon.
“We are here to find a common solution because there is no point in just sharing the problem. I think we have to share the solutions,’’ he said.
He commended Obaseki for the positive approach and structures he was putting in place to curb illegal migration from the state, adding that the EU was ready to give needed support.
“It is a good starting point on the part of the governor if he wants to create an enabling environment for people in Edo to see a future in the state.
“We are here to give the support; Edo can become a model for a new relationship between Europe and Africa,” he said.
In his response, the governor said that EU could help in investigating and getting intelligence in tracking and prosecuting traffickers, but that more importantly, should give hope and skills to young people being trafficked.
He said that his government had started to resolve the menace of human trafficking and illegal migration but needed additional support for training.
“Just imagine, we need to give technical or vocational training to 3,000 to 5,000 young men and women; where are the teachers, where are the facilities?
“We need massive support, not necessarily cash but the skills and the knowledge; in that way, we can give hope to young men and women that they are not useless to themselves.”
Obaseki stated that his government was providing concrete data and projects, adding that the administration was involved in agriculture, logistics and vocational training to create employment for the youths.
He noted that Benin Technical College for instance, was a work-in-progress and that there was anticipation that it would be near completion before the end of the year.
“The workshops and laboratories have to be furnished; we have to recruit teachers, and they need to be sent abroad for training.
“So, these are some of the areas they can provide technical support to provide skills for our young people,” the governor said.