The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) has expressed concern over the alarming rate at which Nigerians are fleeing abroad, describing it as a “worrisome phenomenon.”
The NIS comptroller in Enugu, Joachim Olumba, stated this on Thursday at a sensitisation campaign on the scourge of smuggling of migrants for stakeholders in the state.
The NIS directorate organised the enlightenment in collaboration with the International Centre for Migration Policy and Development (ICMPD).
“Indeed, this programme couldn’t have been held at a more appropriate time, considering the alarming rate at which not only the youth but older generation of Nigerians exhibit interest in leaving the country,” lamented Mr Olumba. “This is creating a worrisome phenomenon which has come to be popularly known in local parlance as ‘japa’.
He said the appetite to flee the country was usually driven largely by social, economic and security concerns and that Nigerians, especially the youth, were leaving Nigeria in droves.
“To many, what is paramount is to achieve the goal of migrating from the country and not the means of reaching their destinations. Whether they are smuggled or trafficked, or they even get to leave the country by means of stowaway, does not really matter to them,” added the NIS comptroller.
The comptroller also mentioned that the desperation had brought unspeakable and unprintable hardships on migrants.
“This life of regret occasioned by the ill-advised mission to migrate by all means has exercised far-reaching consequences on countless victims of SOM. This is why this sensitisation and enlightenment campaign has become auspicious and absolutely necessary,” the NIS official explained.
He added, “It is designed to equip migration managers and stakeholders with adequate knowledge to contain the scourge. And to arm the public with relevant information on how not to migrate in order to escape being victims of desperate promoters of SOM and TIP.”
Mr Olumba commended the NIS and their collaborators for bringing the campaign to Enugu.
“You have undoubtedly taken a proactive action to stem the growing and troubling incidence of SOM in the state and beyond. We hope that the partnership will be sustained until the dangerous phenomenon is totally eliminated,” the NIS official added. “We must not continue to watch while our children, the future hope of our beloved nation, are daily exposed to the grave danger posed by SOM.”