Paul Obi in Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria, European Union (EU) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) commenced labour migration survey in the country to ascertain Nigeria’s performance across a broad spectrum of labour issues.
The project, an expanded data collection and survey will focus on massive job creation initiative by securing the partnership of the ICMPD to build migration –related knowledge and database for good policy and effective administration across various sector.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, who addressed a team of experts from ICMPD in his office in Abuja, said the absence of such data base has been the bane of poor government’s labour migration policies.
Ngige explained that “up-to-date evidence and information about labour market needs and migrant workers profiles, including their origin, citizenship, age and sex composition, education and skills, qualification, labour force participation are irreducible variables for mutually gainful labour migration.”
“Sector of work treatment and conditions of work and extent of integration are necessary for effective labour administration, policy implementation, impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation, but most of the needed information are lacking in Nigeria. The ministry has to therefore partner with the ICMPD to bridge the data gap,” he added.
Ngige stressed that the ICMPD has agreed to support Nigeria with the development of the survey instrument for national survey on labour migration.
“We want to do our beat in consonance with emphasis on due process mantra of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration in creating jobs for Nigerians.
“While we create these jobs, we also need to support people who have the desire to migrate their expertise to other countries where they are needed, so that we don’t have excess labour force here. But we must do this in consonance with the international best practices so that our skilled people going out of the country do not become an embarrassment to their host countries. So we want them to be guided as legal residents and accorded all rights for decent jobs in conformity with ILO convention.”
He commended the EU Commission and other international bodies for their support.
Speaking, the Project Manager, ICMP, Mr Naozad Hodiwala said the team of experts was in Nigeria based on the federal government’s request for technical assistance on migration management.
Hodiwala noted that the challenges faced by most countries as it concerns migration policy were Labour migration and migrant data.
“Our assistant to the Ministry of Labour and Employment is to do a sort of survey on the existing data from the ministry. To also see what kind of tools, sources of data and make best use of the existing 2014 Strategy on Migrant Policy of the ministry,” he said.
He assured the ministry that the centre was ready to offer assistance whatever they could, noting that the centre has being existing since 1993 and have over 50 member states as partners, with over 110 globally requests for technical support on migration management.
ICMPD is an inter-government organisation that provides government partners with in-depth knowledge and expertise for dealing with migration, using a three-pillar approach of research, capacity building and migration dialogue.