Govt committed to reduce illegal migration — Labour minister
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour -Awuah, says the government is committed to building a strong economy to help reduce the menace of illegal migration of Ghanaians to other countries.Subscribe
According to him, although every country leveraged the expertise of foreigners to develop, illegal migration must not be countenanced.
“What we should not be encouraging is using irregular and illegal means to achieve your goals in migration .In West Africa, for instance, most of our citizens risk walking through the desert to the Mediterranean to reach Europe. In the process, most of them lose their lives,” he said.
The minister was speaking during a working visit of the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Gilbert F. Houngbo, to the ministry.
Mr Baffour-Awuah said the best way to deal with illegal migration was to address the root cause, which was lack of jobs.
Many people are distressed and they think they do not have hope locally, because they are not finding jobs and even if they find jobs the incomes are very low,” he said.
He said the government had made economic development a top priority in order to ensure that more jobs and opportunities were created for people.
He, however, acknowledged that the economy was having difficulties due to recent global events and therefore urged the public and the investment community to support the government in its drive to build a strong economy.
The minister urged investors to come into all sectors of the economy and invest their resources to create more job opportunities.
For instance, he said the cocoa sector, especially cocoa processing was a lucrative investment choice that would help the country in its development objectives.
“To boost our local economy, there’s the need for investors to invest in cocoa processing locally so that at least if it is not 100 per cent, processing, there will be some processing to provide more jobs and add value to our cocoa,” he said.
Mr Baffour-Awuah noted that the country had a youthful, vibrant and educated population, which had further been enhanced by the Free SHS policy of the government.
The youth, he said, were ready and eager to work but unfortunately there were not enough jobs.
In view of that, he said, the government was exploring the possibility of having partnerships for people to work in other countries and come back with their expertise to help develop the country.
“We want to take advantage of partnerships and explore the possibility of finding jobs in other countries.
It should not be jobs that will make them stay in your country permanently.
They will work and learn and come back to implement those things,” he said.
For his part, Mr Houngbo said illegal migration was a serious issue that must be addressed through concerted partnerships and collaborations by governments and state agencies.
He commended Ghana for its efforts both at the national and international levels to help deal with migration and labour- related issues.