By Abubakar Jimoh
Media practitioners have been urged to take a stake in the implementation of the National Migration Policy to ensure well-informed citizens of important provisions in the policy.
This call was made recently by Mr. Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) during One day Media Roundtable Meeting on Implementation of the National Migration Policy organized in Abuja to equip the media groups with required information for effective implementation of the policy.
According to Executive Director, prior to the adoption of the National Migration Policy by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May, 2015, CISLAC in its commitment to ensure that policies and laws work for the benefit of the average Nigerian participated with other stakeholders in the Technical Working Group to develop and validate the NMP.
He said, “While the adoption of the policy was widely commended, CISLAC also seeks approaches towards achieving the effective implementation of the NMP which involves the use of both unorthodox and conventional media outlets. This was also to capture the Nigerian populace that fall within the semi illiterate/illiterate category as migration is non-restrictive to class, status or educational qualification; and ensure wider majority of Nigerians who fall within this category are not left out in any sensitization plan.
“It is on this note that we hope that this workshop will expose the media as the Fourth Estate of the Realm to the requisite skills required towards the effective implementation of the policy so that the ordinary Nigerian in every part of the country can be aware of the policy and its provisions.”
Rafsanjani applauded the role played by various stakeholders including European Union (EU), for providing the much needed funding; the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for providing technical support; the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), among others who ushered in a guiding framework for stakeholders working in the area of migration and intending migrants.
Also, in a paper titled ‘Promoting Better Migration Management in Nigeria: Perspectives from the Media’, Jonathan James Lyamgohn, Head of Station, WE FM Abuja, recalled that the NCFRMI recorded 1,871,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country in 2007, a figure that has increased substantially to over 2 million in 2013 in the wake of incessant conflicts and natural disasters in various parts of the country.
He explained that it is part of National Migration Policy objectives to: provide strategic direction for efficient and effective migration management both within and outside the country; serve as a blueprint for engaging governments, institutions, and all entities on migration and related issues that concern or affect Nigerians in the interest of the government and the people of Nigeria; provide a platform for the uniform administration of migration in Nigeria; ensure human, economic, labour and civil rights of Nigerians resident abroad are well protected in their host countries.
Mr. Lyamgohn advised the media to: embark on amplified narrative reporting; hold respective governments and agencies accountable to their roles and responsibilities towards proper record keeping; set agenda via telling the various stories of migration and diaspora Nigerians; find and report unique story ideas; carry out evidence based reporting on policy implication of migration situation.
He further encourage the media to establish and report migration based trends; and combat all forms of discrimination against migrants within and outside the country through massive sensitization of the educated, literate, uneducated populace on the benefits of the NMP and how it affects them as citizens.