Nigeria: Migrant Resource Centres Instrumental in Reducing Irregular Migration

Lagos – “Most migrants would not have travelled in the first place if they were properly informed. With migrant resource centres (MRC), the incidence of irregular migration will be reduced to its barest minimum,” said Blessing Anefu, one of 30 participants at a recent follow-up training on effective management of MRCs. “This training is critical in equipping us with required skills needed to achieve the objective of the centre.”

The three-day training (6-8 November) was organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in collaboration with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. It was designed to strengthen the capacity of relevant government officials, particularly newly recruited staff, to better understand their role in helping potential and returning migrants make informed decisions about their travel and reintegration plans.

The training, which was funded by the European Union under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, hosted 16 male and 14 female participants from Lagos, Abuja and Edo States MRCs. 

“To achieve the laudable objectives for which the MRCs were established in Nigeria, competent human resources capable of providing services to potential and returning migrants are essential to enable migrants to make informed decisions about their migratory ambitions,” said Mienye Badejo, representing the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, in her welcome remarks. “This will minimize the risks associated with migration and maximize the benefits of organized labour migration to national development.”

IOM helped over 10,000 Nigerian migrants stranded in Libya and other countries return to Nigeria between April 2017 and October 2018. Most of these migrants embarked on their perilous journeys with little or no information about regular migration processes, the risks inherent in irregular migration, the living and working conditions abroad or the support and redress services available at destination countries.

The establishment of the MRCs in Abuja, Lagos and Edo States by IOM is an initiative which supports government’s efforts in managing organized labour migration by providing services that will enable potential and actual migrants to protect themselves while also empowering them to contribute to sustainable development.

In October 2018, the MRC in Edo State provided reintegration, job advisory and counselling assistance to a total of 648 beneficiaries (462 male and 186 female); 20 per cent of them are between 16 and 30 years old while 80 per cent are in the 31-45 age range.

Abrham Tamrat, IOM Nigeria Programme Manager and Head of Sub-Office, affirmed the importance of MRCs in the overall integration prospects of migrants: “It helps improve the migrants’ knowledge of the destination country and ensure that their expectations about the migration process are realistic.”

The programme is part of the larger EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration which facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative, backed by the EU Trust Fund, covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.

For more information please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: