IOM: Social media pushing youths out of Nigeria

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says social media is a major tool influencing young Nigerians to leave Nigeria.

Franz Celestin, IOM Chief of Mission, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Citing the number of Nigerian returnees from Libya, Celestin stated that their reason for migration could not have been poverty or insecurity.

He disclosed most were from Southern parts of the country whose states were more secured and economically viable.

The IOM boss observed that young Nigerians get easily moved by ‘success stories’ people post on social media.

Celestin said that in spite of the North-East situation, statistics showed that less people were migrating from the region.

“One of the strongest push for migration is aspiration and not just poverty, conflict or disasters. Yes, the economic part of this is also a push factor. But of all the people returning from outside, and pretty much form Libya, less than 0.2 per cent of them comes from the North East.

“Why is it that over 49 percent of them are from Edo, 17 percent from Delta; then Lagos, Imo and Ogun States? When you have these five states combined, they account for 89 percent of those coming from Libya. If you look at these states, they are far ahead of the Northeast in any human development index.

“You have to cascade the effect of knowing that somebody who has left can make it, then I can make it. You see the Instagram factor, when all these guys are posting pictures in London. You say, oh I know this guy, he went to school with me and now he is abroad. You will want to do the same thing”, he said.

Celestin cautioned that the pasture youths see may not be as green as it appears.

He added that one may have to work up to three jobs before being able to send money back home.

In August, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Uyo Zonal command, announced the rescue of 132 persons.

The ages of the victims are between 5 – 34.

A total of 40 were freed from sex exploitation, 28 from baby sellers, and 23 from labour exploitation.

The remaining others were freed for other sundry exploitation cases. NAN

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