The European Union (EU) has offered to invest about €20million (about N4billion) through the European Development Fund (EDF) to promote the development of key sector projects under the “Better Management of Migration in Nigeria” programme.
The project was designed in partnership with the National Planning Commission (NPC) to address key challenges in the management of both regular and irregular migration flows in the country.
The NPC said the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Nigeria and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) would jointly implement the project. While IOM will handle the three thematic areas addressed by the assessments, the UNODC will oversee the fourth component on counter-trafficking and smuggling of migrants.
“The overall objective of the project is to enhance the capacity of the government of Nigeria to manage migration in order to maximize its development potential through strengthening the capacity of key institutions involved in migration management, to improve the overall governance of the sector in terms of policy coherence and the use of evidence-based instruments,” NPC Chief Press Secretary, Salisu Haiba, said.
According to Mr. Haiba, as part of the project take-off and implementation, government actors, civil society representatives and members of the diplomatic community would come together on Thursday to validate the findings of institutional needs assessments carried out in the framework of the EU-funded project.
He identified the Federal Government’s main partners in the project to include the National Commission for Refugees (NCFR), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the National Population Commission (NPC), the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Nigeria National Volunteer Service (NNVS), Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO) and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
The one-day validation seminar would fine-tune implementation plan as well as present findings of the institutional needs assessments carried out by IOM consultants in three thematic areas, namely Migration Data and Policy, Labour Migration and Diaspora Mobilization, and Irregular Migration.
The objective is to establish baselines and carry out needs analyses to guide the actual implementation period, which is scheduled to commence in April 2012.
The Secretary of the NPC, Fidelis Ugbo, assured that government would take seriously all issues raised during the seminar, while taking appropriate measures to address them, adding that the findings would play a pivotal role on government policy on migration as well as feed into the Nigeria-EU Political Dialogue on Migration and Development.
The IOM Chief of Mission, Martin Ocaga, said his organisation would work with the Federal Government and all stakeholders to help the country realize the benefits of safe migration as well as combat irregular migration in the country.