In a meeting co-hosted by Nigeria and the Netherlands, Dr. Betta Edu, the Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, discussed the challenges faced by young people when it comes to migration.
The event brought together representatives from 48 countries, as well as the European Union.
Dr. Edu highlighted the importance of understanding the link between migration, youth, and development.
She pointed out that young people between the ages of 15 and 25 make up a significant portion of the world’s population and can play a vital role in positive development.
She also mentioned that Nigerian youth have been making strides in the business world, attracting over $2 billion in investments between 2015 and 2022.
This includes a significant investment of over $800 million in Nigerian startups in 2022 alone.
Dr. Edu acknowledged that many young Nigerians seek opportunities abroad, which they refer to as the “Japa Syndrome.”
However, she also noted the challenges they face, such as human trafficking and exploitation.
The Minister expressed hope that the meeting would be a platform to discuss the difficulties young migrants encounter and celebrate their accomplishments.
She called on developed countries to support less wealthy nations in creating jobs and better environments for their young people, reducing the need for them to migrate.
Paul Huijts, the Netherlands Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, praised President Tinubu for appointing Dr. Edu to oversee Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation.
He stressed the importance of international cooperation to address issues like education and employment for young people.
The European Union Commission’s Director General for International Partnership, Erica Gerretsen, emphasized giving young people a say in leadership and decision-making. She also highlighted the need to change the narratives around youth migration and tap into their potential to contribute to their countries’ development.
The meeting’s focus was to understand and address the challenges faced by young migrants and unlock their potential for a better future.