Godwin Obaseki, the governor of Edo State, has stated that his administration is strengthening its partnership with the European Union in order to maintain the successes his administration has seen in areas like job creation, the development of human capacity, and combating illegal immigration, among others.
During a courtesy visit to the Government House in Benin City, Ms. Samuela Isopi, the ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), was welcomed by Obaseki.
According to the governor, the state is strengthening its relations with the EU and looking into new opportunities for investment in the education, tech, and other areas of the state’s economy, including culture and tourism.
He said, “we have had a very good and strong relationship with the EU since we got into office in 2016. They have been very supportive of our efforts at stemming the tide of irregular migration and human trafficking from Edo.
“For the successes and achievements we have made in the area of human trafficking and irregular migration, the EU has been a strong ally. They have worked very closely with us and their partner, the IOM, in ensuring they are able to roll out programmes to support victims of trafficking and returnees and help them with resettlement and job opportunities, making sure they are properly integrated into our society.”
“We are now looking at windows for regular migration. How we can collaborate with the EU to create institutions to train our young people, certify and equip them so that they can be properly engaged and employed in Europe.”
The EU Ambassador praised the Governor for the state’s economic growth in all areas, noting that Edo is one of the first states she has visited since moving there.
She said, “Edo State, a few years ago, was the state from where 50 per cent of the illegal migrants in Europe came from and now this percentage is lower than 10 percent.
All due to the state government’s strong leadership and close collaboration with the European Union and other partners.
“We have a very strong partnership with your state government on migration and mobility, both on supporting the resettling of returnees from Libya and creating the right conditions for the youth of the state to find opportunities here – education and job opportunities, among others.
“We are positively impressed by the results that have been achieved and want to reassure His Excellency that we will continue to work together.”