Indications have emerged that the German Embassy in Nigeria and the Journalists International Forum for Migration (JIFORM) will soon formalise collaboration for a training programme for journalists on migration and economic issues.
A statement released from the Secretariat of JIFORM confirmed the development, adding that its President, Dr. Ajibola Abayomi and another member of the organisation, Mrs Yemisi Izuora were received by the Deputy Consul-General, Gerald Wolf and the Programme Coordinator, Elle Ogunsanya at the Lagos consulate of the embassy during which the JIFORM delegation requested for collaboration on the training of journalists on migration matters.
During the meeting, Ajibola admonished the embassy to work with the JIFORM to further drive the campaign against irregular migration, human trafficking and other migration menaces in Nigeria and on the African continent.
“While we agree that migration is not a crime, the message must be clear that it must not be abused by anyone due to inadequate information on the choices they make. We are appalled by the cases of repatriation of thousands of migrants from Germany and other countries involving Nigerians.
“We are convinced that we can do better with quality information for the purpose of enlightening the public and this can be achieved with capacity building for the media practitioners to engage stakeholders on the way out. Journalists also need to be exposed to better management of migrant information geared towards economic development for the good of all.
“The JIFORM is open to collaboration with various institutions to ensure that migrant matters from the point of safe, regular and orderly migration become a win-win situation for all countries. On this, we seek your support to continue to empower journalists in Nigeria, as we look forward to having the second edition of the JIFORM intercontinental migration summit hosted in Germany later this year” he said.
Responding, Gerald said his office would welcome a proposal for a workshop for journalists and take steps to ensure its success when approved, adding that the German government has a series of opportunities for skilled and qualified migrants from Nigeria, especially in education and those qualified as teachers.
While wishing the JIFORM well on its desire to stage a migration summit in Germany, the Deputy Consul said his office was looking forward to also liaising with other German organisations in Nigeria to be part of interactions with the media during the proposed training programme.
The JIFORM, founded in 2019 in Lagos comprises over 300 journalists covering migration issues across the continent. The body has facilitated several local and international capacity-building and training programmes for journalists and other stakeholders over the years.
These included the initiation of the annual global migration conference with the third edition held in Toronto, Canada in 2022. The JIFORM in partnership with Nekotech Centre of Excellence also pioneered the African Migration Summit in Ghana in 2021 and organised the West African Media Migration Summit in Togo in the same year.
Apart from these, the JIFORM in collaboration with the City University, New York City in Brooklyn between November 2, 2022, and November 4, 2022, held the inaugural intercontinental migration summit and has equally put in place an annual national migration summit, which berthed in Lagos on February 9 to serve as a retreat for journalists and stakeholder on migration matters in Nigeria.
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