Obaseki Empowers Libyan Returnees With 150 Hectares, N100m Agribusiness Seed Capital

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Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has approved 150 hectares of land and N100million seed capital for the 150 Libyan returnees and victims of human trafficking, who completed skills acquisition training at the Edo Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) office in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Obaseki, who made the announcement during the graduation ceremony of the returnees,
directed the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to immediately liaise with the
relevant authorities towards securing the land for the returnees to commence
agribusinesses.

According to the Governor, the returnees would be organised into cooperatives under the supervision of the Benin Owena River Basin Authority and the Edo Agricultural Development Programme (ADP).

Speaking on the need for a coordinated and multilateral partnership to end the spate of
modern day slavery, a key part of which is the trafficking in persons, he said the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, marked every December 2, by the United
Nations, should be seen as a day for a deep reflection on how to bring the illicit trade to
an end.

He commended the returnees, 51 of whom were trained on crop production, 15 on Agro-
processing, 68 on livestock farming and 52 on Fish farming, for availing themselves of the training opportunity and promised to make them ambassadors in the state-wide campaign against human trafficking and illegal migration.

He explained that the returnees were victims of a country that had failed them, adding
that the state government had a duty to make them realise their God-given potential.

Earlier, the Programme Manager of ADP, Mr. Peter Aikhuomobhogbe, commended the state
government for initiating the training and expressed optimism that the trainees would put
to use the skills they acquired.

On the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, Obaseki said that it was regrettable
the menace of slavery still persisted after decades of efforts to abolish the menace, noting, “We ordinarily shouldn’t 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.”

Noting that partnerships are key to ending the prevalence of slavery, he said, “given the
economic implications of modern day slavery, there is need for tact, willpower as well as
substantive financial commitment to make appreciable progress in efforts to tackle
slavery.”

The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery is marked every December 2, which is
the date of the adoption, by the General Assembly, of the United Nations Convention for
the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of
Others (resolution 317(IV) of 2 December 1949).

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), “more than 40 million people
worldwide are victims of modern day slavery. Essentially, it refers to situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or leave because of threats, violence, coercion,
deception, and/or abuse of power.

“In addition, more than 150 million children are subjected to child labour, accounting for almost one in ten children around the world.”