By Rita Esegine
The unrelenting collaborative efforts of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and trade union to cushion the difficulty faced by returning migrant workers in Nigeria, has yielded more success with the validation of a new information guide.
Produced by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) with support from the International Labour Organisation, the new information Guide is fashioned to provide useful information and relevant links that will assist returning migrants in the process of reintegration.
Widely acknowledged as a step in the right direction by stakeholders in the migration governance space, the guide was validated on Friday March 18th, at a two-day workshop organised in Abuja by the NLC.
In his remarks at the opening of the workshop, NLC General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja said NLC shares in the vision and desire to bring trade unions and other social partners and their allies in Nigeria to explore imaginative ways collectively to promote Fair, Orderly and Regular Migration.
His words, “We are desirous to mobilize our affiliates and other allies to be active in the overall migration governance process and discourse, while intensifying advocacy for better migration governance in Nigeria and in the continent, particularly in the call for better return and reintegration processes and protection of migrant workers’ rights.”
The General Secretary commended the ILO-Abuja Office for the support for the Congress and its affiliates in capacity strengthening and promoting its efforts in alliance relationship between workers and other stakeholders in the workplace and society in general, especially in ways to continue to enrich the call for better migration governance.
Furthermore, he stated that the Guide is part of a collaborative project between the NLC and the ILO under the FairWay Migration Programme targeted at strengthening trade union voices in Migration Governance.
He added, “We reassure you of our commitment, readiness and availability in the struggle for the defense of the collective interests of workers, our communities and the future of our country. We are ready and willing to lead in the course of charting ways for positive changes and progress in our society.”
Meanwhile, Comrade Eustace James, in his statement at the event expressed confidence that the validated Information Guide on Return and Reintegration will complement the National Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on Migration Governance in providing useful and necessary information and guidance to Returning migrants and Migrant Workers, especially in this era of force evacuation and return.
The workshop had in attendance Migration focal persons of selected NLC affiliates, representatives from NECA, Ministry of Labour and Employment, NCFRMI, NiDCOM, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, and the media.
Recall that many retuning migrants and migrant workers sometimes get stranded after returning to the country, but a new trade union information guide is set to change the narrative and help returnees with useful information on how to reintegrate on their return.
The draft of the information guide had inputs from the stakeholders in attendance before its final validation.