The European Union says it will partner the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the Pan African Institute for Global Affairs and Strategy (PAIGAS) to end irregular migration of Nigerians.
Michel Arrion, EU ambassador to Nigeria, made this promise on Friday when EU and PAIGAS officials paid a courtesy visit to Suleiman Kazaure, NYSC director general.
Arrion said many Nigerian youths were risking their lives in a bid to travel abroad to earn better living adding that the partnership will focus on entrepreneurship and skill development for youths to create means of job creation and self-reliance.
“The first thing we want to focus on is skills acquisition; skills that will help the youths to start a micro enterprises.
“We also hope to contribute to the policy of dialogue developing currently between the EU and many African countries. Nigeria has a very important role to play in this dialogue.
“One of the issues we have raised is the increasing desire of Nigerian youths to leave the country for Europe using irregular and illegal migration channels.
“We want to work together to discourage this act and to end this, we have to explain the risks, opportunities and various legal ways one can use to travel to Europe.”
Martins Uhomibhi, PAIGAS president, said that youths were great assets to the country, expressing optimism that PAIGAS would help in bringing succor to the country’s unemployed youths.
“The youths need to believe in themselves; they need to know that they can achieve anything they want to achieve. There is no need to go across the desert on a suicide mission because there are legitimate means they can use to achieve what they want.”
Uhomibhi said something urgent had to be done to the issue of illegal migration as 17,000 Nigerians have migrated to Italy in 2017.
Kazaure assured the delegation that the NYSC was willing and ready to work with them and that skill acquisition and entrepreneurship development were main focus of the corps.