Organized private sector in Nigeria engaged on labour migration and rights of migrant workers

Organised private sector in Nigeria, led by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) initiated engagement with national stakeholders focusing on improved governance of labour migration and protection of migrant workers’ rights.

News | 24 April 2023
Abuja (ILO News): The need to improve knowledge and facilitate better collaboration among Employer and Business Membership Organizations (EBMOs) across areas related to safeguarding the rights of migrant workers, necessitated training workshops convened by the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) from 14th – 17th of March 2023.

Anchored on an ongoing collaboration where NECA is partnering with the International Labour Organization (ILO), within the framework of the FAIRWAY Global Programme, the workshops were designed to address identified capacity needs of employers’ representatives in promoting decent work for migrant workers, including through recognition and compliance with labour standards relating to migrant workers’ rights and safety and health.

While welcoming participants at the event, Mr. Wale-Smatt Oyerinde, Director General of NECA, expressed interest in advancing EBMOs engagement in labour migration considering the growing relevance of the subject matter, primarily as it affects the dynamics of global labour markets. He appreciated the ILOs sustained support and collaboration, noting that topics under which the engagement targets fall, such as fair recruitment and OSH, are essential aspects of the world of work, just as NECA seeks to further engage on these themes with its members.

Also speaking during the opening of the workshops, Ms. Vanessa Phala, Director of the ILO Abuja Country Office represented by the National Project Coordinator of the FAIRWAY Programme in Nigeria, reiterated that the intended outcome of the ongoing collaboration seeks to enhance the institutional capacity and effectiveness of NECA in the area of labour migration. She noted that ILO’s support involves:
  • Deploying technical expertise through capacity building.
  • Disseminating knowledge and information on international labour standards.
  • Decent work for organized private sector to actively participate in the labour migration discourse.  
Topics covered during technical sessions included the role of EMBOs in promoting effective labour migration and standardized recruitment processes in Nigeria, facilitated by Dr. Paul Adama of NECA. Other areas under focus during the workshop included the National Labour Migration Policy landscape, and ILO’s General Principles and Operational Guidelines on Fair Recruitment and the Definition of Recruitment Fees and Related Costs facilitated by Barr. Maureen Ovie of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and Ms. Eliza Marks, Technical Officer at ILO’s MIGRANT Branch respectively.

Through the instrumentality of an Implementation Agreement with NECA, ILO is supporting EBMOs in Nigeria premised on the significant role of the organized private sector in promoting decent work during recruitment stages, including when recruiting for international labour markets.

In this regard, the workshop further provided the platform for introducing employers to relevant international labour standards, disseminating provisions contained in the revised Code of Conduct for Private Employment Agencies, and facilitating syndicate discussions on the role of employers’ organizations in promoting the health and safety of migrant workers aligned to the ILO’s Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention No. 187.

Employers’ representatives have demonstrated interest in setting up a dedicated platform on labour migration.

The ILO is progressively providing support in this regard, including by strengthening the effectiveness of the Community of Practice, which is an outcome of the workshops.