Nigeria continues to experience high internal and external migration due to the size of its population, economic climate, as well as its porous borders. The Government of Nigeria has continued to give more attention to migration management as is evidenced by the additional responsibilities given to the National Commission for Refugees (NCFR) in 2009 to oversee issues relating to migration and IDPs, ongoing dialogue with the European Union, the planned projects under the 10th National European Union Development Fund (EDF) and the recent appointment of a Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs.

Since 2002, based on a Cooperation Agreement, IOM has been supporting the efforts of the Government of Nigeria to manage migration through capacity-building, advisory services, and technical assistance on migration matters, including migration health and information, assisted voluntary returns, and counter-trafficking. Strong collaboration has been established with national migration stakeholders in order to enhance border management, fight trafficking in persons, reduce irregular migration, and mainstream migration in the country’s development plans. In 2011 and beyond, IOM plans to provide further support to the Nigerian Government within the above mentioned programme areas.

A Brief on IOM Nigeria’s Projects

Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria
Location: Abuja

The project is funded by the European Union with an overall objective to enhance the capacity of the Government of Nigeria to manage migration in order to maximize its development potential. It has three inter related components designed to improve the governance of migration through the use of evidence based instruments, strengthen national capacity to manage organized labour migration, and mobilize diaspora for national development and strengthen national capacity to deter irregular migration.

Some of the key activities within the main components focus on building capacity of institutions to manage regular and irregular migration, data management, diaspora engagement, migrants’ rights and welfare, strengthening the involvement of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the migration sector, and national-level policy and strategy reformulation.

The six target government institutions involved in the implementation of the project are the National Bureau of Statistics, National Population Commission, National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Nigeria National Volunteer Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

Support to the Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa (FMM West Africa)
Location: ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania

The FMM West Africa project supports migration data management, border management, labour migration and combating trafficking in persons in West Africa. It is jointly funded by the European Union and the ECOWAS Commission and implemented by a Consortium of partners – IOM, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The project is designed to support the ECOWAS Commission in its role as a regional platform for migration policy development, strengthen the Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA) as well as build the capacities of ECOWAS in managing migration and exploring the benefit of ECOWAS free movement protocols.

At the national level, the project is supporting ECOWAS Member States and Mauritania in developing national migration profiles, elaborating and adopting national migration policies, and delivering tailored technical assistance for national institutions through a demand-driven facility.

Finally, the project promotes the active engagement of non-state actors and local authorities in information and protection activities for the benefit of migrant and cross-border populations in West Africa.

Strengthening Humanitarian Response Capacity in the North East through Displacement Tracking, Monitoring and Information Dissemination
Location: Adamawa, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States

Under this project, IOM provides support to the government of Nigeria to establish a comprehensive system to collect and disseminate data on internally displaced persons (IDPs).  The project aims at strengthening the capacity of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), the National Red Cross Society (NRCS) and other partners to undertake IDP assessment in a unified and systematized manner that provides reliable information on the current IDP population.

The activities of the DTM project, which consist of conducting baseline assessments, site profile exercises as well as registration for internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in camps and host communities, are currently being carried out in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states. The information collected through the DTM assessments contributes to the provision of a comprehensive profile of the IDP population in Nigeria and allows for the implementation of humanitarian support programmes based on IDP' needs.

The DTM data are shared on a regular basis with partners and include the DTM report, displacement maps, dashboards and datasets. 

Emergency Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for Affected Populations in North East of Nigeria
Location: Chibok Community, Borno state

IOM is implementing a project  to protect and promote the psychosocial wellbeing of released abducted Chibok girls, their families and affected communities, through psychosocial activities directly implemented by IOM, and in partnership with the government of Nigeria, UN Agencies such as WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA and INGOS and NGOs such as the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Interfaith Mediation Center (IMC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) and others.

The project consists of: a) assessment of psychosocial needs and resources in the areas of concern, including a detailed family assessment of the families of the abducted girls; b)  provision of direct psychosocial assistance to the abducted girls and their families upon their return, through trained and supervised mobile teams; and c) education and capacity building of families, relevant governmental and non-governmental actors and the media in “do not harm” rules, psychological first aid and basic psychosocial support.

The project has provided direct psychosocial counseling to the 59 escaped girls, their families and community members. The project has recruited, trained and deployed 15 members of psychosocial mobile teams who are providing psychosocial support to the affected population, referrals to specialized services, provision of awareness sessions to social workers, families and mental health professionals. The project has also established psychosocial referral pathway and protocol of intervention in case the girls would be released.

Expanding Emergency Psychosocial Support for Conflict-induced Displaced Population in Maiduguri camps
Location: Maiduguri, Borno State

The project aims at promoting the psychosocial well-being of IDPs affected by conflict living in displacement camps in Maiduguri metropolis and their community members. Activities under this project will be implemented at IDP sites scattered across Maiduguri town and will target families and individuals affected by the recent insurgency and counter-insurgency activities; vulnerable populations including victims of related cases of violence, in particular young women, children, and individuals through psychosocial direct assistance; and key members of the community social support structure (e.g., community leaders, religious leaders, social workers), including camp managers, through capacity building activities. Specialized health services, focused psychosocial support and informal education sessions will be offered to the affected population through 10 trained and supervised members of the mobile teams. 

Psychosocial Support and Community Mobilization for Conflict-induced Populations in North East of Nigeria
Location: Adamawa State

The project implementation area is in Adamawa State and aims to contribute to the strengthening of the emergency provision of psychosocial support services to conflict-induced displaced populations living in the camps and their communities through enhanced direct community support services and focused supports. It will be address the psychosocial needs expressed by the community and IDPs through psychosocial support activities, both at group and individual levels. Priority and special focus will be given to young women, children and youths. The programme aims to promote awareness and give special attention and assistance to the youth, while prioritizing the needs expressed by teenagers, children and victims of gender-based violence (GBV).

Strengthening the Delivery of Reintegration Assistance to Returning Nigerian Migrants from Europe under the Auspices of AVRR Programmes
Location: Lagos and Abuja, and other places in Nigeria where migrants are returning

The project is contributing to enhancing sustainable voluntary return and reintegration of migrants to Nigeria, including vulnerable cases (victims of trafficking, unaccompanied and separated children).

The project is complementing the ongoing Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) national programmes by ensuring that additional in-kind grants are provided to an estimated 450 returnees returning under various existing European Union Member States AVRR programmes in Nigeria. The project will institute appropriate mechanisms and strategies to ensure that the project beneficiaries are well informed about the project and support is provided in most timely and efficient manner.

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) from Switzerland to Nigeria, Phase 10 (2015)
Location: Lagos and Abuja, and other places in Nigeria where returnees are returning

Following the end of Phase 9 of the AVRR programme in December 2014, IOM began implementing Phase 10 of the AVRR Switzerland-Nigeria programme in January 2015.

IOM Nigeria commenced implementation of the AVRR programme in 2002. It has facilitated the return and reintegration of more than 2000 returnees from more than 20 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. The programme has assisted a wide spectrum of returnees, including irregular and stranded migrants, labor migrants, survivors of trafficking, and unaccompanied children.

Migration Health Assessment Centre
Location: Abuja and Lagos

The project is designed to provide health assistance to Nigerian migrants travelling to the United Kingdom for a period of more than six months. The purpose of the health assessments is to identify and address conditions of public health concern in order to mitigate the impact of the migrants’ disease burden on national health or social services. The programme also seeks to address the migrants’ specific health needs in order to facilitate integration with the host community. Health assessments are valuable in the migration process. Migrants benefit from the health assessment by becoming more aware of their own personal health conditions and by being empowered to take preventative or curative actions. Migration health assessments contribute substantially to addressing the health needs of migrants and of hosting communities alike, particularly when supported by adequate pre- and post-arrival health services and community-based interventions. These measures can also promote positive health seeking behaviours through pre-departure health education and awareness campaigns.

Last updated:
Main text: June 2015
Facts and figures: August 2014