The new EU envoy to Nigeria, Amb. Ketil Karlsen has expressed the desire of the union to support the Nigerian government in creating employment opportunities for young Nigerians.
He said that creating employment opportunities for Nigerians would discourage them from embarking on dangerous trips to European countries.
EU’s pledge of assistance comes against the backdrop of the increasing rate of young Nigerians embarking on dangerous trips to European countries in a bid to secure better living conditions.
Speaking with newsmen in Lagos on Monday, Karlsen, who is the Head and Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said the union was eager to support Nigeria to facilitate a better future for youths.
“It is really heartbreaking to see many young Nigerian girls being trafficked and made to suffer so many difficulties."
“It is natural that young people everywhere should look for job opportunities and better living conditions outside their countries. But, I must say that the right way to do it is not to be allowed to expose themselves to dangers and different forms of abuse while taking dangerous routes from their countries."
“We would, therefore, want to see more efforts at creating sustainable job opportunities and better living conditions for these young Nigerians in Nigeria.’’
He said the EU was prepared to support Nigeria on a long-term strategic planning for sensitising young Nigerians on the dangers of travelling illegally. Karlsen said that the EU was willing to be part of any initiative by the Nigerian government to create employment opportunities for young Nigerians in Nigeria.
He argued that it was imperative to create better living conditions for young Nigerians to reduce their desperation for migration abroad.
The envoy said that young Nigerians should not be allowed to continuously expose themselves to dangers and abuses in their bids to travel to Europe and other countries.
“I think that we need to work together, create more investments and job opportunities for these young Nigerians in their communities. “We have to make these young Nigerians know that there are currently better opportunities for them in their country than abroad,’’ Karlsen said.