Nigerian Government, UN Migration Agency Address the Country’s Migration Priorities for the Global Compact for Migration

Capacity Building, Global Compact, Global Compact on Migration

Lagos – Nigeria’s economic capital is hosting the national consultation on the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) from 19-20 October. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the Government of Nigeria, as well as civil society, the private sector and academia are attending the event. The two-day discussions will lead to the draft document on Nigeria’s contribution to the GCM, which is intended to convey the country’s migration priorities. The event is funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

The protection needs of the nearly 2 million people displaced by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria are among the topics that were discussed and proposed as a central component of the document to be finalized at the end of the consultation.

“More than 37,500 Nigerians arrived in Italy by sea in 2016 and approximately 17,000 more this year,” said Enira Krdzalic, IOM Nigeria Chief of Mission, in her opening remarks. “Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the centre of cross-border movement for migrants, including towards others countries, where Nigerians head in search of better opportunities. The migration is often irregular, as opportunities through legal channels are limited and can be time-consuming,” she said.

“Concrete ideas to better manage this and provide meaningful opportunities for Nigerians at home will undoubtedly be an outcome of this consultation.”

Krdzalic commended the government’s efforts to improve overall migration management in Nigeria with the adoption of two national migration policies – the National Labour Migration Policy in 2014 and the National Migration Policy in 2015. She also emphasized that the challenges are vast, including to support Nigerians fleeing conflict in the country’s northeast, where IOM started providing emergency humanitarian assistance in 2014.

“People die for lack of knowledge,” said Aderantie Adepoju, a member of the Network of Migration Research in Africa, who led the revision of the National Migration Policy in 2015. “They die in the Mediterranean Sea and in the desert, not knowing all the risks,” he lamented. “We, as a government and country, have to educate our own people so they don’t die from a lack of knowledge. We are the actors,” he emphasized.

Attendees also commented on the predominant migration trends in Nigeria. “More than 80 per cent of migration in the region is intra-regional, usually for labour migration,” said Fabrice Fretz, SDC regional advisor on migration and development. “Let’s not forget this or assume that all migration to and from Nigeria is linked to human tragedies,” added Fretz, referring to the countless Nigerians who perish in the desert and on the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.

The GCM will be the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement prepared under the auspices of the United Nations to cover all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. The GCM will be adopted in 2018 following national consultations this year.

For more information, please contact Julia Burpee at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 228 2406, Email:


  • The UN Migration Agency, the Government of Nigeria, as well as civil society, the private sector and academia attend the national consultation on the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) in Nigeria. Photo: IOM 2017