REPORT OF NYSC ORIENTATION CAMP LECTURES ON MIGRATION – THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY, HELD ON TUESDAY 30TH MAY 2017 AT NKWERRE, IMO STATE.
Further to the Lagos meeting between Magodo Associates and PAIGAS on Wednesday 24th May 2017 where details of the proposed coverage of the Anti-Illegal Migration lectures at the NYSC Camps in the six states of Lagos, Edo and Imo in the south and Abuja, Bauchi and Kebbi in the north were discussed, MA agreed to cover the southern states provided logistics support was made available and that it was only the coverage of Lagos orientation camp that could be done pro-Bono. A team was immediately raised for Lagos while I agreed to cover Imo. At such short notice and without honorarium, it was not possible for MA to raise a team for Edo.
IMO TEAM AND LECTURE MATERIALS
While Surv. Remi Aromiwura of MA would provide leadership for the Imo team, arrangement was made by PAIGAS for Mr. Betran (PAIGAS staff) and Mr. Eddy Megwa of NYSC to make up the Imo team. The EU Ambassador could not join the team because of short time and the requirement of home’s country clearance before embarking on journeys outside their official base in the country of their postings.
The lecture materials which were earlier put together by PAIGAS from the inaugural lecture materials from both Lagos and Abuja were further reviewed by Dr. Badejo and shared among the team members. Relevant back up materials relating to the subject matter and the slides produced for the lectures were further sought and obtained especially as it relates to the referenced Valletta Conference on the Internet.
The Imo team discussed the materials and order of presentation of the lectures the night before the lectures at our hotel in Owerri.
The orientation camp was at Eziama Obaire in Nkwerre Local Government of Imo State. It was about 2 hours drive from Owerri, the capital of Imo state. The camp was in a rural setting and there was no befitting accommodation within the locality. We therefore lodged at Owerri and left early at 5:00am for a 7:00 am scheduled lecture time.
Getting to the camp and the formalities were effectively handled by Mr. Eddy Megwa and this aided our first lecture to commence on schedule. Arrangements for photo and video coverage were done by Mr. Betran. The Corps members assisted with setting up the projector for the slides and also with the prompting of the slides.
After introduction of the team members, I mounted the rostrum and delivered the lead lecture on ‘MIGRATION – THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY’
The lecture proper was preceded by explaining the relationship between MA and PAIGAS and the EU interest in the collaboration on the advocacy on Anti-Illegal Migration. It was also established that the advocacy should not stop with the corps members and that we were leveraging on their education and knowledge to provide them with necessary information required for decision on Migration and also to become advocates to other groups of Nigerians who are not as blessed or previledged as themselves in terms of education and access to information so that they could provide necessary guides and requisite information.
The slides were spoken to one after the other relating them with life experiences the Corps members could also related with. The figures on migrants were quite shocking to them and the recent funding support to African countries by the EU was linked to an understanding between the EU and African countries to provide enabling environment for youths to thrive in their countries and discourage Migration.
Legal and illegal Migration procedures were highlighted and also how legal Migrants can easily become illegal Migrants. Those who migrate legally were advised to stick to the conditions of their stay in the host countries and return home before they become illegal migrants.
Mr Eddy Megwa collaborated all that were said and shared the success stories of the corps members who had taken advantage of various empowerment programs to set up their own businesses. He called the attention of corps members to some trending videos on social media on the level of humiliation, carnage and self inflicted hardship some migrants subjected themselves and that sadly not many returned alive to share their experiences.
Mr. Betran largely agreed with the earlier two speakers and advised the corps members to take advantage of opportunities that Nigeria offers at home some of which he reiterated.
We had a session of questions and answers which were attended to by all the speakers. It was generally observed that the majority of the corps members were convinced that opportunities within the country should be exploited.
Since I had to return to Lagos on the first lecture day, Mr. Eddy Megwa was able to convince the camp management to provide more slots for the other lectures on the same day. My return ticket was rescheduled and we had all our lectures on the same day.
The lectures took same pattern and became more interactive. The camp officials participated fully in the other sessions.
Mr. Betran came with some souvenirs which were given to a selected few who participated effectively during the question and answer sessions.
Going by the body language, enthusiasms and comments from the corps members it could be concluded that the lectures were well received and greatly impacted on them. It is hoped that it would reflect on the migration statistics over a period of time.
Some of the corps members as groups and individuals through email and whatsapp platforms also wrote to appreciate the lectures and its impact on them. Two of the feedback mails are reproduced below.
Good afternoon sir,
Please sir my name is Atisele Suzan Amara from Delta state, am an NYSC corps member currently at Obiare Ezeama camp in Imo state with the state code IM/17A0914, i was the young lady who indicated interest in joining PAIGAS to save the life of young youths of Nigeria from illegal migration after your lectures yesterday here at the camp. Sir after we spoke u gave me ur business card and asked me to send you a mail in order to remind u who i am and of our discussion.
Sir please i really wish to use dis medium to express my unending gratitude for your words of encouragement, kind advice and most of all for granting me the opportunity to be inaugurated as one of the ambassadors of PAIGAS.
I hope you had a smooth journey on your way back. On behalf of all of us that you’ve touched in a tremendous way, i humbly say a million thank you for coming, and letting us share in your experience as you have really impacted on us whole heartedly in a fatherly spirit.
Thank you very much sir. With due respect, we appreciate you like no other.
Babalola Esther Oziofu…
Arisele Susan Amara…..
There is no doubt that the impact of the lectures series would become manifest sooner than later. This would also be due to the NYSC collaboration with other various agencies (Government and Non- Governmental) on complementary issues of Entrepreneurship, Funding (grants and loan) opportunities, National Orientation on Ethical issues and good governance etc. The program should therefore be sustained as our contribution to the enhancement of Integrity of Youths and Society’s well being, Stability and Economic Growth of the country at large.
The experiment with one day multiple lectures is worthy of note and could be further exploited in the future. It would be difficult to handle the idle times in a 3-day lecture outside ones base. The lectures were scheduled for between 6:00am and 7:00am, what would occupy ones time from about 9:00am till the following day would become worrisome given that it is a voluntary service.
The opportunity to be part of this program is a sacrifice worth the while within the time frame, for which I appreciate the platform that provided it, Magodo Associates and PAIGAS.
Surv. Remi Aromiwura (08033340509)