A REPORT OF THE MIGRATION LECTURES HELD AT LAGOS STATE NYSC ORIENTATION CAMP FROM MAY 30 TO JUNE 1, 2017
BY: MAGODO ASSOCIATES & THE PAN AFRICAN INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS AND STRATEGY
VENUE: NATIONAL YOUTH SERVICE CORPS
ORIENTATION CAMP, IPAJA, LAGOS.
Through social media and telephone contacts from The Pan African Institute for Global Affairs and Strategy (PAIGAS), Magodo Associates (MA) learnt that the NYSC Management made provision on the Orientation Course time-table for PAIGAS/MA to present 3 days of lectures from Tuesday 30 May to Thursday 1st June, 2017 at 06:30 – 07:25 am at 6 NYSC orientation camps and that MA would be required to cover 3 southern centres: Lagos, Edo and Imo States.
MEETING OF PAIGAS & MA
As soon as an agreement to have a PAIGAS/MA meeting in Lagos was reached, Prof. Kukoyi briefed Prof. Tomori and with Dr. Badejo met with the former at his residence on May 20, 2017 at which point the perception that handling 6 States would be an expansion of Mandate was discussed. It was agreed that Mandate would be sought by email. This was subsequently done.
A meeting of representatives of MA and PAIGAS held at FAAN in Ikeja, on Abuja on May 24, 2017 and deliberated mainly on logistics for the impending 3 days of lectures. The need to streamline the relationship between PAIGAS and MA was also discussed and it was agreed that an MoU between the two sides would be prioritized. PAIGAS leadership actually pointed out that such MoU was with a Lawyer. On logistics, it was agreed that PAIGAS would provide an advance to MA for the purposes of covering Imo and Edo. No honoraria were to be paid to MA members. Eventually, 240,000 naira was advanced to MA by PAIGAS through the MA Secretary. The MA Secretary agreed to go to Imo State on the condition that it would be for one day. It was not possible to find someone to go to Edo State at the last minute. So, PAIGAS ended up finding a US based Professor who handled this.
It was agreed that MA would modify the EU power point that was used for meeting I in Abuja. This was done.
THE LECTURE ON THE FIRST DAY
On May 30, 2017, Magodo Associates’ team comprising Dr. Babafemi Badejo (leadspeaker), Prof. Adebola Kukoyi and Prof. Funso Akere, arrived at the venue at 5:45 am. Amb. Adefidipe sent to represent PAIGAS as well as Mr. Okpe Oga Lewis joined the team. All met Prince Mohammed Mommoh, the Lagos State Coordinator at his office. Prince Momoh had confirmed that all that would be needed to deliver a power point and show a short video was ready. Though this was communicated to PAIGAS, PAIGAS in addition hired someone to carry out the service and video the first day. The contractor also joined the team.
A lecture titled: “Migration – Issues for Consideration,” was very well delivered by Dr. Badejo. This was further elaborated on by Amb. Adefidipe and Profs Kukoyi/Akere. Prince Momoh also made very useful intervention, including on pratical examples of former Corps Members who had become employers of labour by staying in Nigeria instead of migrating.
A touching short video of deaths and hardships of real live migrants to Europe that had been sent by PAIGAS was shown.
The Corps Members asked a few questions that centred on the inadequacy of opportunities in Nigeria. But they did not give the impression that the answer would be migration.
The Camp leadership was gracious enough to give the lead speaker an opportunity of inspecting a guard of honour mounted by corps members. For this kind gesture, we remain very grateful.
SECOND & THIRD DAYS
With the exception of the guard of honour, the pattern established on the first day with the first assembly of 3 platoons was repeated with subsequent assemblies containing different platoons although some Corps Members later indicated that they sat through all three meetings given their interests.
In addition, PAIGAS had supplied 12 T-Shirts and 12 Face-caps to be distributed to Corps Members wanting to be Ambassadors of Anti-Illegal Immigration with request for such envoys to remain in touch with PAIGAS through its website. This was done on the 3rd day with one Mr. Ameh Abraham who had contacted Dr. Badejo by email after the first day’s lecture taking the lead with clear instructions to ensure 4 persons per Assembly as well as gender parity. This was supervised by Mrs. Lola Aladesoun, an NYSC official.
Some of the Corps Members wanted to know more about Magodo Associates and how they could be members. This question was largely avoided.
The lectures got the keen attention of the Corps Members. They appeared to largely support zero illegal migration which makes one wonder if they are really the target audience. It would be interesting to know how many of the arriving Nigerians in Europe as illegal migrants are University graduates.
We would like to recommend that the following steps be considered in order to make subsequent lectures more effective and available to a greater number of corps members if not all of them.
- That the recommendations of the January meetings be revisited for possible implementation.
- The experience in Imo State suggests that the Corps Members could be addressed in batches on the same day to save time and money.
- MA should consider setting up a website as well as introducing a MA Youth Wing in order to facilitate mentor-mentee relations.
Magodo Associates hereby places on record its appreciation to the Director-General of NYSC and its Management for providing leadership and magnificent human and material support all of which made the lectures possible. Our partner, PAIGAS deserves commendation for exemplary behaviour of its leadership and purposeful/altruistic collaboration. The European Union in Nigeria also ought to be thanked for believing in the project right from the beginning. Their commitment to the project is sealed by the presentation of the EU leader at Abuja NYSC Camp. Lastly but certainly not the least are the young people we interacted with both in Lagos and Abuja. We thank you for your attention and hope that the seed we planted through the lectures would grow into a big mustard tree whenever you propagate the message to your peers in your communities.