By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Swiss Government and Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Thursday, signed a N10 million Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to combat human trafficking and illegal migration in Edo State.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Executive Director, ANEEJ, the Rev David Ugolor, explaining that the agreement with the Swiss Government through the Embassy of Switzerland in Nigeria will go a long way to tackle the root cause of the illicit business that has endangered young people’s lives, dehumanization, and death in the quest to cross the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea through perilous journeys.
Ugolor who signed the agreement on behalf of his organization expressed deep gratitude to the Swiss government for providing the grant to his organization to address some critical issues of migration and human trafficking in Nigeria.
The Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr. Georg Steiner, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Swiss Government in a letter to ANEEJ said his country was providing a N10 million grant for ANEEJ to implement “Tackling human trafficking through advocacy to increase investment on Human Capital Development” in Edo State.
Steiner also made it known that the approved grant covers a period of 9 April to 01 December 2020.
The statement reads in part, “The Executive Director of the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, the Rev David Ugolor who signed the agreement on behalf of his organization expressed deep gratitude to the Swiss government for providing the grant to his organization to address some critical issues of migration and human trafficking in Nigeria.
“The project is to generate data that will provide evidence to support Public Policy in combating irregular migration as well as strengthen the capacity of Civil Society Organisations to advocate for increased investment in Human Capital Development through budget monitoring that will promote transparency and accountability in public spending needed to engender good governance and sustainable development.
“The goal of the project is to improve the knowledge of Citizens, media and Policy Makers around the issues of good governance and Open Budgetary processes that support civic engagement, noting that with increased transparency in public spendingwhich the project seeks to achieve, there will be more investment in education and the health sector which will help address the current poor funding associated with public spending in the social sector.”
The ANEEJ boss also pledge support and implementation of the project with zeal and patriotism to achieve success.
Also assuring performance by the organisation, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, ANEEJ, Ms Sandra Eguagie said, “We are hitting the ground going with the project as we have an in-house COVID 19 guideline which covers the new contract for our migration work.
“This project is very dear to us as many citizens of Edo State have either been victims of human trafficking or irregular migration and the project will meet the aspirations of beneficiaries.”