FAIRWAY Programme provides support to national stakeholders on labour migration and fair recruitment.

National Stakeholders Supported towards Improving Recruitment Landscape in Nigeria

Towards improving the implementation of ILO’s Fair Recruitment Initiative, stakeholders converged to strategize on application of best practices in Nigeria.

News | 09 January 2024
From 16th to 21st of October 2023, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment (FMLE) with support from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and through the FAIRWAY Programme, facilitated a week-long training towards improving recruitment processes in Nigeria.

The workshop drew participants from the six geo-political zones with the aim to empower Private Employment Agencies (PEAs) with knowledge and raise awareness amongst stakeholders on essential aspects of labour migration and fair recruitment, as well ensuring that the migratory frameworks and practices in Nigeria are in compliance with International Labour Standards.

Organized in collaboration with the FMLE and the Human Capital Providers Association of Nigeria (HuCaPAN), the workshop introduced participants to various aspects of labour migration governance, including the operational use of the Standard Operating Procedures for International Recruitment, the Code of Conduct for PEAs, and the National Policy on Labour Migration.

In her remarks while declaring the 5-day training open, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mrs. Juliana Adebambo, represented by Mrs. Uche Cecilia Williams, expressed the Ministry's commitment towards strengthening labour protection and rights of all workers through collaboration and by working with partners. She also pledged to work closely with both local and international partners to strengthen the labour migration governance landscape, underscoring the importance of collective efforts in achieving better labour migration practices.

In his welcome address, Chief Dr. Nzeribe Okegbue, the 1st Vice President of the Human Capital Providers Association HuCaPAN), highlighted the relevance and timeliness of the workshop, pointing out the significant flow of migrant workers in and out of Nigeria and the necessity for fair recruitment practices to safeguard the rights of all workers, including migrant workers. Dr. Okegbue noted that the workshop is designed to raise awareness about the importance of engaging licensed recruiters to prevent migrants’ exploitation.

In a goodwill message, the Director International Labour Organization (ILO) country office for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Vanessa Phala represented by Ms. Sandra Ajuonoma, recognized the importance of the partnership between ILO, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, and the Centre for Migration Studies in facilitating the workshop. She emphasized the workshop's objective to engage stakeholders in conversations aimed at promoting best practices in labour migration adding that the collaboration underscores the commitment of ILO and its partners to creating a framework for improving fair recruitment processes.

Professor Tracie Utoh-Ezeajugh, the Director of the Centre for Migration Studies at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, stressed the importance of engaging stakeholders in shaping frameworks and practices that enhance fair recruitment in Nigeria. She highlighted the significant data gathered for this purpose and encouraged active participation from all stakeholders, emphasizing the need for enhanced collaboration.

The Director General of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Mr. Adewale Oyerinde, represented by Mr. Joseph Adeniyi, acknowledged the workshop's potential benefits especially in providing the right framework for employment. His goodwill message noted that NECA represents over 4000 direct and indirect members, recognizing the value of the training and its timeliness.

Throughout the 5-day event, participants engaged in extensive discussions covering a wide range of topics. These included an overview of the fair recruitment framework, teaching modules on labour migration, the roles and responsibilities of private employment agencies, the code of conduct for recruiters, standard operating procedures for private recruitment agencies, gender issues in international labour migration, and the relevance of social dialogue in the context of labour migration.

The workshop stands as a comprehensive and collaborative initiative designed to improve the fair recruitment process, promote best practices, and prevent exploitation in labour migration within Nigeria. It underscores the necessity of collective efforts among the Government, employers and workers representatives, private employment agencies, international organizations, and other stakeholders to achieve these goals and ensure fair labour migration practices.

Recommendations at the end of the workshop included use of the online Migrant Recruitment Advisor application platform for search and authentication of available job opportunities, improved and regularly populating the FMLE/NELEX platform with opportunities posted by PEAs, as well as the introduction of labour attachés in select countries of destination to improve the protection of rights of migrant workers in the identified countries.

The need for concluding consultations/signing Bilateral Labour Agreements with destination countries, and further ensure effective implementation of the agreements was brought to the fore during the workshop, and stakeholders were encouraged to sustain advocacy in this regard.