The Edo State Government has said that the permanent shelters being constructed to accommodate returnee Edo indigenes who were trapped abroad as victims of human trafficking and irregular migration, will strengthen the state government’s rehabilitation and reintegration programme.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr Crusoe Osagie, said the facility which is nearing completion will enable the state government fast-track short, medium and long-term objectives of rehabilitating and reintegrating the returnees.
He noted that the shelters will support the state government’s far-reaching approach to providing support for returnees, which includes medical screening, payment of stipends, capacity building and provision of starter-packs, reunion with families and regular monitoring and follow-ups.
“The facility will assist the state government in strengthening the fight against human trafficking and irregular migration by offering the returnees a lot of guidance and counselling sessions. This puts them on a better pedestal to succeed.”
Osagie said the Centre will harmonise several activities and campaigns to check the menace, adding “We intend to run short, medium and long term programmes for the returnees. This will enable us to follow through with the resettlement programme and ensure that we achieve 100 per cent success in resettling the returnees.”
According to him, the state government will continue to sustain several initiatives in place to fight human trafficking which threatens the future of our youth population, noting that the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking has continued to record success in curbing the menace and ensure that our young ones are safeguarded against such practices.
Recall that the Chairman ETAHT, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, said Edo State between 2017 and date, received no fewer than 4,943 returnees from Libya, adding that the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government has so far spent N300 million for the upkeep of the returnees and other logistics within the period.
Omorogbe, while briefing journalists on the activities of the task force in the last two years, said that the achievements by the taskforce under her leadership have corrected the wrong perception earlier held by the international communities about Edo State.
“Our efforts in Edo State have been acknowledged internationally. If you look at the trafficking in persons before 2019, you will realise that copious references were being made to Edo State and there is no doubt that this was the reason the state in that report was actually upgraded because they saw our great efforts and they realised the different things being done in the state,” she added.