1.1 Background to the Study
With a population of more than 150 million, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. Nigeria is burdened with corruption and endemic poverty, with nearly 70 percent of the population living below the poverty line (Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, 2010). Scarce employment opportunities, corruption, and poverty force thousands of Nigerians to emigrate every year in search of better quality of life. A large proportion of these migrants resort to illegal means to leave the country or what is termed “irregular migration.” There are various illegal processes associated with irregular migration, including forgery of passports, visas and other travel documents, marriage under false pretenses, bogus claims for asylum, human smuggling, and human trafficking. The bulk of irregular migration in Nigeria occurs among youth aged 18-35 and is largely driven by economic motives. A high youth unemployment rate — measuring 33.10 percent in 2017 — and rising cost of living are two of the major factors contributing to high migration levels among this group (National Bureau of Statistics, 2010).
In response, Nigeria has embraced a leading role in the fight against irregular migration, becoming the first country in Africa to enact anti-human trafficking legislation — the Trafficking in Persons Prohibition and Administration Act (Adepoju and van der Wiel, 2010:280). It is also the first country in Africa to establish an agency to implement the legislation.
In 2000, a notable shift occurred in irregular migration when more Sub-Saharan Africans joined migrants from Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco in attempts to migrate to Spain via the Strait of Gibraltar and to Italy via Tunisia (de Haas, 2006:16).In comparison to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, migrants from Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal dominate migration to Europe and North America and they represent 25.5, 16.4, and 12.2 percent of all West African migrants living in OECD countries respectively (de Haas, 2008:24)Nigeria boasts diverse migration configurations of which irregular migration — especially human trafficking and smuggling — is represented prominently (Atsenuwa and Adepoju, 2010:9). Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that irregular migration among Nigerians is on the rise. In 2007 the Nigerian embassy in Libya reported an increase in the number of young Nigerians (men and women) leaving the country through irregular means.
In migration discourse, countries are categorized either as source, transit, or destination countries. Nigeria is both a source and destination country. But given the high rates of emigration as compared to immigration, Nigeria is primarily considered a source country (Black et al. 2004:11; IOM, 2009:15). Nigeria’s migration management approach has been reactive and lenient, especially with regards to policy formulation. Migration management issues were considered backburner priorities in Nigeria until Italy and Spain confronted Nigerian authorities with evidence of large numbers of trafficked women from Nigeria. Most of the trafficked women are involved in the sex trade in Italy and Spain. This development led to the signing of bilateral agreements on immigration matters between Nigeria and Italy in 2000, and Nigeria and Spain in 2001. The signing of the bilateral agreements culminated in a review of Nigeria’s migration management practices. Other developments contributing to the review of the country’s migration policies included the intensive advocacy by some non-governmental organizations working in the area of human trafficking and child abuse, and the wide media coverage of incidents of trafficking and repatriation of trafficked women (Adepoju and Van der Wiel, 2010; 277-278).
Since the beginning of creation, humans have always involved themselves in movement activities. This has been a major feature in the history of Africa and the entire globe generally (Akanji, 2012). Migration cannot be inevitable from the history of the story of man, families, villages and nation- state. Therefore, migration can be traced as far back as the existence of man, most especially when man desired to go in search of food during various famine seasons; also another reason for migrating in those days was the desire of separating from the crowd as well as the seeking for independence. As earlier revealed virtually all individuals and nation states have one or two traces of migration history (Internal and international) mostly influenced by two factors these are the “Pull” and “Push” factors. Migration can be internal or international. Internal migration explains the movement of individuals within same geographical territory which in this case can be from rural to urban or from Lagos to Abuja .While, International Migration has to do with the crossing of borders or international boundaries such as Cameroon to Nigeria described as South-South Migration, Nigeria to United States of America described also as South-North Migration. For the sake of this study International Migration as regard South– South Migration also known as Regional Integration and South-North Migration are focused on.
Illegal migration means the act of entering a country without having the necessary authorization to reside, temporarily or permanently, within its borders. People who have migrated without proper authorization can be identified in two ways. Some of them enter to a country without documents and some of them enter with false document. Some countries use the term ‘Unauthorized Aliens’ to identify the illegal migrants. Information about undocumented migrants or migrants in irregular situation is often difficult to obtain or quantify. However, at the present the problem of illegal migration has intensified and it has made a crisis among the developed countries such as Australia, USA, England, Switzerland etc. Irregular migrants have various reasons to enter the destination countries. The most common reasons are searching for employment, education, health and other social benefits. Meanwhile, some illegal migrants are searching for security and refuge. Sometimes, destination countries provide help and solutions for refugees and asylum seekers, victims of conflicts throughout the world.
Irregular migration is a global challenge in the development process. It is defined as a major trend that has the potential for serious global impact. Some critics have called this period the ‘Age of Migration’ because; the number of people moving internationally has increased than ever before. The United Nations estimates that there were around 234 million international migrants in 2013 (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2013). In the Europe home to approximately 454 million, is estimated to host 500,000 irregular migrants each year. Therefore the Council of Europe announced that migration is an ongoing crisis across Europe. In Australia, the government estimated that in 2012 about 61 000 persons were in an irregular situation. In Britain, 13% of the population was born abroad. In the United State of America, where the population totals approximately 294 million, the total number of irregular migrants is as high as 12 million. These conditions have posed a challenge for the democratic states of the destination country and also threaten to the development process of the country. According to the IOM (International Organization for Migration) reports it can be identified that illegal migration has increased by 20 percent over the past ten years throughout the world.
Irregular migrants try to cross borders by boat, air or land and the most popular way of moving is by boat. Australia is experiencing the highest levels of continuous maritime arrivals in history. According to the statistics reports of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection of Australia, there are 30 500 people in Australia who arrived illegally by boat before 1st of January 2014. The government of Australia refers to those illegal arrivals as Illegal Maritime Arrivals or IMAs. At the same time, large number of Sri Lankans trying to reach Australia by sea increased dramatically in 2012. In 2011, there were just over 200 arrivals from Sri Lanka, whereas in 2012 more than 6,400 Sri Lankan IMAs arrived in Australia (Koser, McAuliffe 2013). Hence, the international community has paid greater attention to this irregular situation and called upon governments of origin country and also destination country to address this issue rapidly.
It is extensively acknowledged that the nature of the messages communicated by the media in all its forms can have a visible impact on overall communal attitudes and perception of the audiences. Also, it can have a great influence on social behavior. Media contents may affect a person’s thoughts, emotions, or behaviors in ways that could be direct or indirect, immediate or delayed, momentary or long-lasting. Albert Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory recommends that people are motivated not by inner forces, but by external factors (worldbank.org). In here, mass media can be mentioned as an external factor. People’s attitudes and habitats can be changed by using mass media by giving the essential information. Media can assist and convey about this transformation. This concept is particularly relevant to the discussions of irregular migration also.
Nkwocha (1999:143) maintains that the press uses mass media which are the channels that professional communicators use in disseminating messages widely, rapidly add continuously to arouse the Migrant the dangers in illegal migration vulnerable especially young ones, they are the channels through which mass, but diversified populations are reached simultaneously. Mass media, especially newspapers are powerful tools for opinion, moulding, agenda setting, public debate, integration, and etcetera. According to Okunna (2002:273), it yields a lot of power. Baran (2004:143) posits that newspaper attempt to attract readers with a variety of tactics. It has the responsibility to prepare it readers for social change. Thus newspaper plays an increasingly valuable role in explaining, interpreting and commenting upon event in the society.
Newspaper is the most domesticated medium in the present age in Nigeria. Also, it is a medium with high impact of its readers Therefore, Newspaper medium can perform a vital role on the topic of illegal migration in Nigeria and it can create a huge public opinion to discard the illegal migration from attitudinal and perceptional change. The media’s representations of issues such as migration can have a profound influence on how they are perceived. There is a significant body of literature on representations of migration in the media, and the impact of such representations on the decision making process of migrants and the public perception of migration, as well as the potential impacts on integration and social cohesion (McAuliffe and Weeks, 2015). In an era where the society is founded on information, it is vital to ensure that reporting information is done with a high level of responsibility on the topic of illegal migration. This research is to try to identify the News coverage of illegal migration represented in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
How is migration portrayed in Nigeria media? Is there any space to influence the public perception of migration in this portrayal? Is there any room for a more balanced and considered approach to information on migration?
Illegal migration has remained a recurrent socio-economic problem affecting Nigeria. Despite diverse efforts by government and non-governmental organizations such as NAPTIP, WOTCEF, etc, at curbing this menace, illegal migration remains Ubiquitous. This trend of human trafficking in Nigeria has provoked heavy attention of scholars, especially on the inability of these organizations to combat illegal migration.
Trafficking in minors and Adult is a special phenomenon that is spreading across every region around the world. Generally, people are trafficked from developing to developed countries in search of better opportunities. Increased Illegal migration is partly due to the Rate of poverty. The countries of origin do not have sufficient resources to provide these minors and adult with adequate employment for a life with dignity. Their aim was to go abroad to suffer for a few months; earn huge amounts of money and return home to help the family. However, the reality was often different.
In the light of this, the study is set to find out the “The news coverage of illegal migration among citizens of Nigeria; and the implication of this for Curriculum Review”
1.3 Objectives of the Study
This research paper on news coverage on the illegal migration among citizens of Nigeria has the following objectives:
- To find out how much importance media have given on illegal migration issue through analyzing reports and articles.
- What kinds of role have been played by the media to make people aware about the complication and danger of illegal migration?
- To find out the level of coverage given to child trafficking by Daily Trust and Punch newspapers?
- To know the direction of reports on children covered in the selected newspapers (Daily Trust and Punch).
1.4 Research Questions
For the purpose of this study the following questions are posed to guide this research.
- What is the level of coverage given to child trafficking by Daily Trust and Punch newspapers?
- Do Daily Trust and Punch newspapers carry editorials on illegal migration?
- How often do Daily Trust and punch newspapers carry report on illegal migration in Nigeria?
- To what extent does the press cover issues of illegal migration in Nigeria?
- What prominence do the selected newspapers give to issues on illegal migration in Nigeria
1.5 Significance of Study
This study would be significant in many respects. Firstly, the problem and development of Nigeria citizens affect every home directly or indirectly. Therefore studying and analyzing the press coverage on issues of illegal migration is sine qua non to the overall development of Nigeria because it would serve as an insight into the conditions in which her citizen find themselves today and a guide for preparing them for meaningful contribution to development of the society.
Secondly, it will advance the frontier of knowledge in the field of mass communication and serve as a repository of knowledge and also contribute to the available literature in the field of mass communication
Thirdly, the issues of illegal migration in Nigeria have become a serious matter and demands adequate attention by all and sundry. It will help National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and other related matters (NAPTIP), Government and other Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to assess how far the press has covered issues bothering on illegal migration.
1.6 Limitations of the Study:
In carrying out this research, a lot of problems were encountered. The first major constraint was the time within which the work is expected to be completed, coupled with the fact that the research had been done alongside normal academic work.
Another major problem was finance due to the present inflationary trends to the country transportation problems and risk of being on the road to various libraries, for vital libraries, for vital information and materials.
The third major problem was inadequate literature as illegal migration is a current issue which has not been adequately and extensively researched on.
In spite of the above setbacks, the researcher was able to generate meaningful materials which seem relevant to the topic.
1.7 Definitions of Terms
To ensure absolute comprehensibility of the issue at stake, certain terms and concept especially more technical ones cannot but be defined or clearly explained. Wimmer and Dominick (2003:11) state that Operational definitions are indispensable in scientific research because they enable investigators to measure relevant variable.
Press: Journalist and photographers that work for newspapers and magazines.
Coverage: Reporting of news, stories, issues and event in the newspaper.
Illegal Immigration: is the illegal entry of a person or a group of persons across a country’s border, in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country, with the intention to remain in the country, as well as people who remain living in another country when they do not have the legal right to do so.
Newspaper: It is unbound, printed publication issued at regular intervals, which presents information in words, often supplemented with picture.
Daily Trust: Media Trust is a privately held Nigerian newspaper publishing company based in Abuja that publishes the English-language Daily Trust, Weekly Trust, Sunday Trust and the Hausa-language Aminiya newspapers, as well as a new pan-African magazine, Kilimanjaro. It is one of the leading Media companies in Nigeria.
Punch: Punch is a Nigerian daily newspaper.