Migration expert has decried the risk which some irregular migrants go through in pursuing their desire to migrate amidst the coronavirus pandemic and increased security measures across the world.
Enitan Ibironke, Media Liaison officer, The Migrant Project, Nigeria in an exclusive interview with BONews explained that some people are undeterred in their desire to migrate and travel to Europe and other countries inspite of border closures, border patrols and intensive surveillance.
Ibironke said such persons are further endangering their lives. “People don’t seem to care about the coronavirus pandemic. The sentiment is one of making an effort and the blind hope of actually succeeding on the treacherous journey. The sentiments of some migrant is to rather die of coronavirus than die in misery or poverty.
“Another push for the strong desire is that some families rely heavily on the remittances that are received from family members abroad and this increases the pressure to migrate on the family’s behalf”, she added.
She advised that this period is not safe for migration most especially because of travelling restrictions adding that, “it is imperative that people make well informed decisions about migration and carry out due diligence and research on legal and proper migration options.”
Speaking on the rate at which Nigerians migrate, Ibironke said “IOM Nigeria report states that the total number of Nigerians living abroad is estimated to be between 6 and 20 million. It’s also noteworthy that majority of Nigerians moving out of the country are economic migrants looking for better work opportunities.
“Also in 2015, reports show that Nigerian nationals are the most widespread victims of human trafficking in European Countries.”
She advised the Nigerian government to encourage young Nigerians and potential migrants through capacity building initiatives that would foster wealth creation and skills acquisition programs backed by international organizations.
“The role of enabling the socio economic development of the country through growth policies would also go a long way in creating an environment and country that Nigerians would be proud of and be willing to stay back in and build for the future.”