Skills, technology gaps, profiteering, poor implementation of some aspects of the nation’s laws among others have been identified as some of the factors responsible for the influx of migrants into Nigeria and, by extension, other African countries.
Stakeholders, who graced a workshop in Lagos to launch the Research Phase of the four-country Migration for Inclusive African Growth (MIAG) project in Nigeria, identified the factors as ultimately responsible for migrants trooping into the country in droves.
The primary contribution of the MIAG network is to gather evidence based information and identify gaps in existing knowledge on migration in Africa. These gaps are either in relation to theory, methodology or practice.
The workshop engaged stakeholders in validating the research methodology, a framework for indicators for inclusive growth, access to labour markets and sectoral contributions by migrants, including British, Indians, Chinese, Lebanese.
Organised by the Network of Migration Research on Africa (NOMRA), the workshop witnessed the presence of stakeholders from the academia, organised labour, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, and a representative of the Migrants Resource Centre, a unit under the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Other participants were a representative from Handy-Jacks, an organisation that connects homeowners and businesses with competent, assessed and vetted handymen, technicians and professional service providers around them for renovation or professional jobs, and a representative from the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri Erewa.
According to the participants, migrants from Asian and Middle East countries, especially Chinese, Indians and, to some extent, those from, Lebanon, Britain and other western countries appear to be taking more advantage of the deficiencies in skills, huge population size as well as other factors to tap into the huge resources that are elusive to Nigerians professionals.
While expressing displeasure over some of the migrants’ search for loopholes to repatriate funds and also avoid paying tax, they, however faulted the lack of commitment on the part of some Nigerian professionals, especially artisans, who are gradually losing their jobs to their counterparts from other African countries due to poor finishing in some assignments given to them.
On the widespread belief that the country does not have enough job openings for those seeking employment, the stakeholders faulted the assumption, saying that most jobless Nigerians really do not want to see themselves doing certain jobs even if it will enable them meet their needs.
They, therefore, called for reorientation among job seekers, saying that they should learn to look inwards and convert their knowledge into something that will engage them and enable them earn income.
A previous workshop held in Lagos in 2018 brought together different stakeholders to discuss what is known about Migration and Inclusive Growth from the Nigerian perspective using the evidence cafe methodology.
NOMRA is a regional migration research network, a center of excellence and policy think- tank that seeks to advance knowledge on migration dynamics and policymaking in Africa.
According to the Founder and Coordinator of NOMRA, Emeritus Professor Aderanti Adepoju, the overall aim of the network is to build a regional migration research network and research capacity to carry out cross-national, multidisciplinary and innovative research on socio-cultural, economic and political aspects of international migration in the region in order to advance knowledge on migration dynamics and policymaking in the region.