IN a bid to curb the increasing illegal migration of youths to Europe, the European Union and the Pan African Institute for Global Affairs and Strategies (PAIGAS) at the weekend unfolded plans to partner the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) on sensitisation of corps members.
EU representative to Nigeria, Ambassador Michel Arrion, said beyond lecturing the corps members on the danger of illegal migration during the orientation, it seeks to empower them on skills acquisition and self-reliance.
Arrion, who led a delegation to the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier General Sulaiman Kazaure in Abuja, said the EU is looking at ways to discourage the youths from taking dangerous risks of crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.
“We want to engage with the government and it agencies dealing with youth directly to work out ways of reducing this irregular flow,” he said.
PAIGAS President and former permanent secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martins Uhomiblu, also lamented that over 17,000 Nigerian youths have so far, crossed into Italy adding that the organisation is ready to help stem the tide.
This, he said led with the partnership with the EU to empower skilled corps members.
“We want to go beyond talking to them by putting on the table means of empowerment that will discouraged them from illegally leaving Nigeria,” he said.
He said PAIGAS has commenced state by state sensitisation of corps members.
On his part, the NYSC Director-General, Brigadier-General Suleiman Kazaure, called for provision of seed capital for the skilled Corps members to settle down.
According to him about half of these illegal migrants if analysed are ex-corps members who are leaving the country due to job unemployment.
“This is where we want you to consider. NYSC is not just providing the platform to reach the young Nigerians but we have more areas that EU and PAIGAS can invest by giving them incentives to start up after learning the skill,” he said.
This according to him will make the youth to remain within the country.