No fewer than 450 potential migrants in Benin- City and its environs have been equipped with the necessary capacities and means to start-up income-generating cooperatives.
This was made known by Saliu B.Aidorolo, Project Director, Creation Of Alternatives To Irregular Migration and Human Trafficking Project (CAIMAT) during media briefing held on Thursday in Benin City, Edo State
Aidorolo revealed that beneficiaries of the cooperatives were divided into 30 groups comprising of 15 beneficiaries per cooperatives, adding that they would continue to monitor and support them to make them economically sustainable and progressively become an added value to their communities.
Furthermore, he stated that the 30 cooperatives formed have been registered with Edo State Government, while 60 leaders of the cooperative groups trained on cooperative management and entrepreneurship just as the groups were provided with basic equipments, office and shops.
He said: “Youths living in target location are better equipped to improve their livelihoods.
Creation of Alternatives to Irregular Migration and Trafficking (CAIMAT) Project is a European Union funded intervention project through the British Council in Nigeria under the Agent for Citizens-Driven Transformation (ACT) programme.
“This project is implemented in Edo State by a consortium of four Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) led by Ideal Development and Resource Centre (IDRC). Other partners are Bethshan Youth Organisation; Initiative for Disability Empowerment with Accessibility and Support, and Edo State Children Protection Network.
“CAIMAT project seeks to create a condition or situation where young people in Benin in Edo State, can have increase access to socio-economic alternatives to irregular migration and are empowered to make good choices.
“The success of the project depended on the realisation of the three Expected Results (E.Rs).
“E.R.1 – Creating Economic Alternatives: The project worked to equip 450 potential migrants in Benin with the necessary capacities and means to start-up income-generating cooperatives (15 beneficiaries per cooperatives in a total of 30 cooperatives groups). The project will continue to monitor the cooperatives and will support them to make them economically sustainable and progressively become an added value to their communities.
“E.R.2 – Sensitisation: The project aimed at increasing awareness on the risks linked to irregular migration, with a specific focus on sexual reproductive health and rights aspects, on the available alternatives and of the real conditions in the country of arrival, through sensitisation, both media and community-based.
“Specific targets of the project will be young people in secondary schools, who are often targeted by recruiters and traffickers, and key influencing members in the target communities, including: religious and community leaders, women associations, and parents-teachers associations.
“E.R.3– Institutional strengthening: The project will strengthen capacities of 6 government agencies through a strategic training pathway and continuous staff support, responding to the chronic institutional weakness on migration management.
“A Technical Needs Assessment (TNA) will be conducted on six government ministries/agencies (with NAPTIP being one of them) in Edo State whose mandate has to do with the response to Irregular Migration and Human Trafficking.
“This will involve a capacity assessment of selected MDAs relevant to Migration response in Edo State, and also the development of a training manual to fill the capacity gaps identified.
“A dialogue platform was created between civil society, cooperatives of potential migrants and returnees, authorities and private sector, to promote an open and transparent dialogue and create strong synergies that will impact on the society.
“By working with the government institutions and through the development of ad-hoc capacity of the relevant government officers, the project is ensuring gradual monitoring and strengthening, paving the way for the adoption of good practices in migration management.
“Finally, the creation of a platform has contributed to reducing the communication gap which is currently mining the trust in authorities: this will help the government to tailor further its actions to manage migration issues and support the full socio-economic development of youths in the project location and the state.”