.Godfrey Okoye university

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

A private university in the Southeast, Godfrey Okoye University Enugu, has partnered with Deutsche Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and European private sector companies to tackle the root causes of irregular migration in Nigeria.

The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Fr. Prof. Christian Anieke, at a briefing in Abuja, said youth unemployment, which constitutes central challenges to Nigeria’s development, had caused a lot of irregular migration from the country to Europe.

The partnership, which is supported by the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, was initiated to train and create employment opportunities for Nigerian youths, especially women and returnees.

“The consequences of any delay in tackling youth unemployment include poverty, social and economic exclusion, political tensions, and migration out of the country.

“It will shock you to know that European companies need the services our young people can provide, but many of the youths seeking green pastures abroad are not employable. So, we are trying to develop and implement a modern practice-oriented vocational facility, to train them in five technical job profiles that are also in high demand by European investors. That is why we are also developing a legal migration concept to provide genuine opportunities for those who may want to travel overseas after the training,” Anieke said.

He added that the Centre for Practical Skills would train about 5,000 youths by 2026, giving them new skills and opportunities to pursue financial freedom.

Speaking on behalf of ICMPD, Mr. Joseph Okafor, said the initiative, which is private-sector driven would include the establishment of a European business park, training and a start-up Centre on the University campus to support the development of sustainable youth-led businesses through advisory and funding.

He said all hands must be on the deck to curb the menace of irregular migration that had reached an alarming rate.

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