International Labour Organisation (ILO) says member countries must have reliable labour statistics for effective implementation of the relevant migration policies, laws and certification programmes with the organisation’s convention.
Dennis Zulu, director, ILO Country Office in Nigeria, said that timely and reliable labour statistics remained an essential requirement for evidence-based policy-making in any given society.
Zulu spoke at a recent three-day capacity building workshop in Lagos with the theme, “Labour Migration Statistics in Nigeria” with participants drawn from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), National Population Commission (NPC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
According to Zulu, represented by Augustine Erameh, ILO’s national project coordinator, it is essential to produce reliable and timely labour statistics for research and information. He said there was the need to produce sound evidence-based policy-making for the residents and migrants in a given country.
“Accurate and current statistics are necessary to describe and analyse prevalence, determinants and consequences of labour migration in the country,” he said.
The ILO director noted that the workshop was also to facilitate engagement with stakeholders to better understand the underlying causes of poverty and social exclusion in Nigeria. He said also that it formed part of ILO’s efforts toward responding to country needs in capacity building to enhance the engagement of relevant state actors in the area of labour migration statistics.
“As an evolving phenomenon, labour migration continues to remain a feature of modern day labour markets that requires stakeholders’ participation to facilitate development and implementation of effective governance frameworks. Globally, millions of migrants leave their country of origin in search for better employment opportunities.”
He further noted that a better understanding of the phenomenon through evidence-based lenses will go a long way to address challenges associated with irregular migratory flow of labour migrants.
He added that the area of labour statistics would support in-country efforts for improvements in the labour markets.
Zulu is in charge of ILO office in Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia and liaison office for ECOWAS.
Mustapha Ozel, head of the department of statistics of the ILO said that the workshop was important as Nigeria was about to ratify Convention 160 on international standards on labour statistics.
“Nigeria will disseminate data according to the international regulation. This is the first workshop in the country and is a very huge progress,” Ozel said.
According to him, in 2018, international conference of labour statisticians, which gathers every five years, adopted a guideline concerning international labour migration statistics, and the guidelines brings standards, concepts and finishing for data comparable.
He added that the workshop would increase relation with Nigeria in statistics and introduce international labour guidelines for harmonisation of data.
However, Erameh in his contribution said that the project was being implemented in the five countries to strengthen labour migration governance and policy environment.
JOSHUA BASSEY with agency report