Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM), an international media advocacy group on migration on Monday paid a courtesy call to the Nigeria Customs Service at Seme Command in Lagos.
The association led by its President, Mr Ajibola Abayomi and Deputy Secretary General, Mr Kelving Kagabare said the visit became imperative in order to collaborate with agencies and stakeholders to further deepen the knowledge of public and add value to government policy on migration matters.
He regretted that over the years, many Nigerians had been lured to human and product trafficking across several borders leading to increase in the rate of smuggling, prostitution and other crimes.
Pained by the development, Ajibola said with the current challenges poised especially by irregular migration to economies of nations, time had come to double efforts aimed at correcting the erroneous impression that there were free money and luxuries in the developed world.
He noted that several Nigerians and other Africans were being held hostage either in jail, refugee camps, and slavery stations at different countries due to unplanned journeys.
“It is very painful that many of our youths are being made to go through horrible experiences in the desert, across the Mediterranean Sea and other dangerous routes with the intention of crossing to Europe, painfully in the process, many lives are lost on daily basis.
“We are working with series of organizations like the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Customs Serve, Nigeria Police Force, anti-human and kidnapping agencies, National Emergency agency, Nigerian Disposal Commission, International Organisation for Migration and several others to reverse the tide through responsible journalism” he said.
Responding, Controller Mohammed Garba Ubah noted migration was specific and direct response to global economic crisis fuelled especially by economic imbalance and corrupt institutions in many African states.
While noting that a lot of still need to be done to address the growing concerns on migration, he charged the media to assist to draw attention to the needs of border towns.
“No industries in the border communities, no school and other facilities and thus prompting rural urban migration thereby forcing the residents to prostitution, trafficking, smuggling and other crimes.”
He however counseled that instead of Nigerians to take to illegal migration they could take advantage of government free taxation on export products to earn both local and foreign currencies to elevate living conditions.
The Controller regretted that capital flight had compounded the rate of poverty on the continent and urged institutions to halt the process.
He explained that despite Nigerian government’s ban on 43 items, there was free taxation on all locally produced products for exportation especially agricultural produce like cassava and yam with additional 30% financial incentives paid by government to encourage local production.