The EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Ketil Karlsen, says Edo’s approach to addressing irregular migration is a model and the state, a strategic place to work.
Karlsen said this on Wednesday after an inspection tour to different locations in Benin, the Edo capital, where migrant returnees would be sheltered by the state government and were being trained.
He said it was encouraging to see many activities geared towards addressing irregular migration taking place in the state.
“This is my third visit to Edo and it will not be the last because for us Edo is a strategic place to work in and, I must say, this is a model for engagement, where we build on local and state leadership.
“We will bring together all the partners of the international communities to support them.
“We are working with the World Bank and other development partners to make sure we support the vision that the Edo government has put in place.’’
The envoy noted that the EU was committed to ensuring that the migrant returnees are well integrated back in the country and that the root causes of the menace are tackled.
“Seeing what is being done via the leadership of the Edo Government and talking with the returnees and young people in the state, we have gotten insight of how we can support even better in the future,” the EU ambassador said.
The EU ambassador also visited the LAPO Institute, where training on business skills and cooperatives for returned migrants was on-going.
The training was organised by the EU-IOM initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Nigeria.
At the Institute, Dr Godwin Ehigiamusoe, Managing Director, LAPO Micro-Finance Bank, said the returnees needed empowerment, so that they could be fully integrated into the society.
He said LAPO had in the last 15 years engaged in returnees reintegration programme via collaboration with different development partners.
“We believe that we should be a part of the returnees programme by empowering them with skills, so that they can make better lives for themselves,’’ Ehigiamusoe said.
Other places the EU envoy visited include the Edo government proposed shelter site for migrant returnees and the Edo Innovation Hub.
The EU ambassador was accompanied by Dr May Ikeora, Programme Manager, Managing Migration through Development Programme and Mrs Ukinebo Dare, Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo on Job Creation.
Other development partners also went on the inspection tour. (NAN)
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