The Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, has approved a seed capital of N100m and 150 hectares of land for 150 victims of human trafficking, who recently completed skills acquisition training in the state.
This was announced on Friday during the graduation of the participants of the programme, which was organised by the Edo Agricultural Development Programme in Benin City, the state capital, by Governor Obaseki.
He also directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to immediately liaise with the relevant authorities towards securing the land for the returnees to commence their agricultural businesses.
According to the governor, the beneficiaries would be put under the supervision of the Benin-Owena River Basin Authority and the EADP.
Obaseki stressed the need for coordinated efforts to end modern slavery.
He stated that the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, marked on December 2 annually by the United Nations, should be seen as a day for deep reflection on how to bring the illicit trade to an end.
Obaseki said, “We ordinarily should not be talking about the menace of slavery given the experience we have had. But it is a reality today and we have no choice but to tackle it.
“However, it is pertinent to point out the fact that modern-day slavery, in its various forms, such as forced labour, debt bondage, and human trafficking, has no place among us. To effectively abolish slave trade as we have it today, it takes a coordinated, deep-reaching, international coalition that will take into cognisance the various forms of modern-day slavery and compel perpetrators to back down.”
He, however, commended the returnees, comprising 51 trained on crop production, 15 on agro-processing, 68 on livestock farming and 52 on fish farming, for participating in the programme.
He also urged them to be ambassadors in the state-wide campaign against human trafficking and illegal migration.
Earlier, the Programme Manager of the EADP, Mr. Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, commended the state government for initiating the training and expressed optimism that the trainees would put the skills acquired to good use.
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