The International Labour Organisation (ILO), is engaging relevant government agencies in Nigeria, with the mandate to strengthen labour migration governance through policies, laws and certification programmes.
First of its kind in Nigeria, the ILO said it was a huge progress for the country, especially as Nigeria is about to ratify Convention 160 on International Standards on Labour Statistics (ISLS).
Globally, reports have it that millions of migrants who leave their country of origin usually leave as labour migrants in search of better work and employment opportunities.
Dennis Zulu, Director of ILO Country Office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Liaison Office for ECOWAS, while speaking at a a three-day national capacity building workshop on, Labour Migration Statistics in Nigeria, in Lagos said the organisation recognises that timely and reliable labour statistics remained an essential requirement for evidence-based policy-making in any given society.
Represented by Augustine Erameh, National Project Coordinator, Labour Migration Employment and Reintegration (LMER), Zulu, said the workshop forms part of ILO’s efforts towards responding to country need in capacity building to enhance the engagement of relevant state actors in the area of labour in line with the International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS).
Organised within the framework of ILO’s initiative for LMER, which is being implemented in Nigeria and Ghana, he said the activity is organised to facilitate engagement with stakeholders to better understand the underlying causes of poverty and social exclusion in Nigeria.
According to him, as an evolving phenomenon, labour migration continues to remain a feature of modern day labour markets, requiring the active engagement of all stakeholders to facilitate the development and implementation of effective labour migration governance frameworks across all levels of governance.
Zulu, who acknowledged the support of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), which is supporting the initiative, noted that a better understanding of this phenomenon through evidence based lenses would no doubt go a long way in addressing the challenges associated with migration and support efforts aimed at improving labour markets.
From the Department of Statistics, Head, Statistical Coordinator and Special Topic Units, ILO, Mustapha Ozel, who noted that one of the problems of labour migration is not having statistics standards in the country, maintained that the workshop will increase the ILO’s relationship with Nigeria the area of in statistics, and introduce international labour guidelines for harmonisation of data.
In a welcome remark, representative of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Head, Household Statistics Division, Kola Ogundiya, said the Bureau has not involved international migration as a component of the statistics.
This is because the sample size for unemployment rate in the country is not sufficient enough to give it a robust estimate of international labour statistics, since it started collecting statistical data.
He said: “We require specialised survey to capture such indicator not mixing it with labour force, as it will be so large. We are here to see the methodology they will use, and we will see if we can marry it with labour force statistics.”