By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The maiden Oyo State Diaspora Day with special focus on investment and campaign against irregular migration has been scheduled for April 20 in Ibadan, the state capital. Bolanle Sarumi-Aliyu, the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters to the State Governor confirmed the date stating that the government would continue to initiate and promote sustainable development for the people. Themed Promoting Diaspora Investments, Curbing Irregular Migrationand Human Trafficking Through Sensitization: The Role of Government, Media and The Society, a statement issued by Ajibola Abayomi, the President of Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) and the media anchor for the event said several notable and international speakers had confirmed participation at the one-day summit. Key highlights of the conference will include appraisal on the Oyo State government’s interventions on migration matters through the Diaspora Office in the last one year. The state had at different times rescued and facilitated evacuation of her stranded indigenes and others that had been reunited with their families while there were plans to commence sustainable empowerment programmes for the youths and women. Bolanle added that with the huge resources and opportunities involved in the migration and diaspora matters, the state was committed to promoting regular migration in order to enhance remittance and investment drive into the country. According to her, while Nigeria sought both local and foreign direct investments, there was need to properly guide the youths against irregular migration as well as to equip the people with adequate information in order to stem the tide of human trafficking as research by the Diaspora Office revealed that more youths from the South West and South South were involved in irregular migration. The SSA on Diaspora said it was high time for energies to be channeled for more job creation and empowerment for the citizens to discourage irregular migration as she called for support to promote orderly safe, and regular migration. Commending the governor’s aide on the initiative, Ajibola, pledged that JIFORM with over 300 journalists covering migration matters across the world would work with the diaspora office to ensure that the event becomes a global programme with economic benefits to Oyo state and Nigeria. Some of the guests expected at the Diaspora Day include Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde; Chief Bisi Ilaka, the Chief of Staff and other cabinet members in the state; member African Union Labour Migration Advisory Committee, H E Dr Princess. A.K Ocansey, Professor Byron Price, the Global Director Diaspora Innovation Institute, City University, NewYork City, USA; Dr. Williams Azuma Ijoma, President, Organization pour l’Integration Africaine, Lome, Togo, Diaspora officials in South West and other states.