By Obioma C. Appolos
Nigeria government under the leadership of President Muhammedu Buhari, has been urged by Trade Unions, to up it game on provision of good governance by taking stringent measures towards making social protection and security a tool to cushioning the scary effects of poverty.
The unions insisted that extreme poverty and economic hardship are major factors that increases the surge of irregular migration, adding that only a decisive action against the duo would reduce the height of migration and the inhuman treatment many migrants suffers.
According to a communique issued at the end of a day workshop on Migration Governance in Abuja, the Unions unanimously agreed to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to raise awareness against desperate migration journeys.
The workshop had representatives of migration focal persons from the NLC, TUC and over 15 affiliate unions, and was done in collaboration with the ILO and the GIZ.
The communique which was signed by NLC Focal Person on Migration, comrade James Eustance, stressed the need for Trade Unions to do more in the protection of rights of migrant workers as well as pressuring government to do more in tackling social injustice which could increase hope for the poor and therefore discourage them from embarking on such journeys
The trade unions also resolved to carry out advocacy to encouage youths to avoid desperate journeys, by first seeking to take advantage of opportunities within the country
“For instance, someone who can save about N2m to engage in an uncertain dream of a journey, which are blinks, could use such money for a more lucrative business with dignity. The argument should be using the opportunity available for better life by investing such money of more profitable business and avoid the series of deaths on the migration routes,” it stated.
The Unions further resolved to “use Social Dialogue to improve the Governance of Migration in Nigeria, especially on recruitment issue and fair recruitment practices. This we believe can be done through bipartite advocacy that will help to reduce exploitation and the abuse of migrants.
“Calling the government to take responsibilities for good governance by entrenching social protection and social security that will cushion the effects of poverty and the push factors driving the surge of irregular migration. This cushioning could increase hope for the poor and the unemployed frustrated and embark on such journeys.”
Trade unions also seeked to included in the resettlement programmes and initiative, such as the government resettlement and skills acquisition centre in Lagos which does not have trade union inputs and component in its management.
It called for the intensification of the skills and certificate harmonization processes across the countries in the ECOWAS Sub-Region and Africa Region.