FG, ILO begin process of validating revised National Policy on Labour Migration

The Nigeria Government and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have started the process of validating the revised National Policy on Labour Migration.

With the support of the ILO, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Nigeria, through the Ministry of Labour and Employment began the process with a two-day workshop, in Abuja.

The Federal Government adopted the National Policy on Labour Migration (NPLM) and an accompanying Plan of Action in October 2014. The policy was developed through an extensive stakeholder consultative process and support from partners providing the required resources for the first labour migration policy in Nigeria.

The three broad objectives as identified for the 2014 Policy included: Promotion of good governance of labour migration; protection of migrant workers and promotion of their welfare and that of their families left behind; and optimization of the benefits of labour migration on development while mitigating its adverse impact.

Following the adoption of the policy by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in October 2014, the Social Partner Advisory Committee (SPAC) and the Technical Working Committee (TWC) on Labour Migration in Nigeria were inaugurated in August, 2016 by the Minister of Labour and Employment to coordinate the implementation of the policy.

Since its adoption in 2014, the ministry continues to oversee overall implementation of the Policy and Plan of Action and it is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the policy in collaboration with key stakeholders, including social partners.

The Director, Employment and Wages in the Ministry, Mr. John Nyamali, said the important meeting of the Technical Working Committee (TWC) on Labour Migration management in Nigeria being organized by the ministry in collaboration with the ILO within the framework of the “FAIRWAY Programme” currently being implemented in Nigeria by ILO.

He said the Federal Government in its determination to manage organized labour migration, and to harness its benefits for national development, adopted the National Policy on Labour Migration (NPLM) and its Action Plan in October 15, 2014, as a sectoral policy and the governance framework for Labour Migration management in Nigeria.

The director pointed out that the policy was formulated and validated through a highly participatory process and consultations with a wide range of stakeholders in the Nigerian migratory space with technical support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the ILO.

According to Nyamali, “Policy after many years of implementation was due for review, and in line with section 5.6 of the Policy concerning Monitoring, Evaluation and Review, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment commenced the process of reviewing and updating the policy in 2019 in collaboration with stakeholders in a bid to incorporate emerging global migration dynamics and national realities on labour migration to further strengthen labour migration governance in Nigeria.”

He pointed out that the review process was largely facilitated by a national consultant with support from the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The Director, ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, Vanessa Phala, said the ILO was delighted to be part of the event to validate the revised National Policy on Labour Migration, adding that the event came at a very auspicious moment occasioned by the global pandemic and increasing need for proactive governance frameworks that guarantees adequate protection and promotion of the rights of all migrant workers.

She said: “Since 2019, ILO has continued to support the process of revising the National Policy on Labour Migration adopted by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2014. This engagement has been an extended, thorough and tasking process which today culminates in this validation workshop.

“Today’s validation exercise becomes more significant at a period characterized by an increase in the number of migrant workers globally from 164 million in 2017 to 169 million in 2019. Most recent estimates captured in a report released by ILO in June 2021 further recognizes the significant contribution of migrant workers to socioeconomic development of both origin and destination countries.


“The report further notes that women account for about 40 per cent of all international migrant workers and in this regard, ILO welcomes the inclusion of a dedicated section on gender responsiveness into the revised draft policy, marking a clear departure from the 2014 document.

“ILO, having established and maintained the world’s largest and most robust global labour migration databases, continues to support countries with evidence for framing labour migration policies and accompanying mechanisms required for effective operationalization of the same.”

He pointed out that the immense contributions of the Social Partners including the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Human Capital Providers Association of Nigeria (HuCAPAN) are duly noted and appreciated especially with regards to country context and information provided during the review process.

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