By Ibironke Ariyo
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Nigeria have been honoured with the African Migration awards.
The President, Journalist International Forum for Migration (JIFORM), Mr Ajibola Abayomi, stated this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja
Abayomi said that Keyamo and IOM were awarded following their contribution to the advancement of safe and regular migration in Africa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the presentations were made by a delegation of JIFORM led by its President comprised of Togo based JIFORM Francophone Coordinator, Dr Williams Azuma among others.
Abayomi said that the IOM was announced the winner of the African Media Merit Award at the African migration summit held in Feb. 25 and Feb. 26 in Ghana.
This he said was during which the UN agency sponsored six journalists and other officials to the event.
He noted that Keyamo won the African Migration Crusader Award for Decent Work in Sierra Leone on June 8 as a result of his consistent support for decent work agitation for the migrants.
Abayomi said the IOM deserved the honour for its huge contributions to the enhancement of journalists’ capacity in Nigeria promoting regular migration and support for thousands of Nigerian-returnee migrants over the years.
Responding, the Nigeria Chief of Mission, IOM, Mr Franz Celestin, urged JIFORM to continue to spotlight migration matters to further enlighten the public about regular migration.
Celestin, represented by the Head of Programme Support, Ms Prestige Unit, added that the JIFORM proposed 3rd Global Migration Summit slated for Niagara Falls, Canada would be supported by the IOM.
In his address, Keyamo thanked JIFORM and the Nekotech Centre of Excellence for the award, saying that his office was willing to work with other state governments.
He added that this would be to properly organise labour migration process to ensure proper documentation and decent work for Nigerians abroad.
“With what I saw in Sierra Leone, we are further inspired to ensure proper interventions on labour migration.
“This is to ensure that the process is fine tuned in accordance with our laws for the benefits of Nigerians for states willing to do that,” he said.
NAN reports that since its inception in 2018, the JIFORM with more than 300 journalists covering migration matters across the continents has been leading advocacy against irregular migration.
This included human trafficking, slavery, prostitution, child and women labour and other crimes associated with migration both in Nigeria and in several countries. (NAN)