West Africa For more informed migration decisions: Development Minister Schulze opens new migration advice centre in Nigeria
Minister Schulze said, “Germany and Nigeria can both benefit from us working together more closely regarding migration policy. By further developing the options for skilled immigration, the German government is opening the way for a true balance of interests. Like us, Nigeria has an interest in regular labour migration. At the same time, we want to further reduce irregular migration. We will be better able to accomplish both these tasks if people have access to a good range of information. Many young, motivated people in Nigeria are considering migration. We want to work with Nigeria to ensure that they make such decisions on the basis of sound information – not on the basis of fake news or unrealistic assumptions. It is better for all sides if irregular migration is reduced and regular migration is made possible.”
The new “Migrant Resource Centre” in Nyanya, which lies to the south-east of Nigeria’s capital city Abuja, is part of a whole network of national advice centres for people interested in migrating and for returnees. The centres serve as points of contact for people who are interested in working or training in Germany and Europe, or also for people interested in going to one of Nigeria’s neighbouring countries. The advice includes information about the labour market and about jobs with lots of vacancies in Germany, Europe and West Africa, along with information about legal ways to migrate. It is also possible to get help finding a place on a local training course or language course. The centres provide information about the huge dangers of irregular migration, too. Returnees wanting to rejoin the workforce in their home country can find support at the centres as well.
The advice centres are independently run by the Nigerian government, with support provided by the BMZ flagship initiative “Centres for Migration and Development”. Centres for migration and development supported through German development cooperation can already be found at three locations in Nigeria: Abuja, Benin City and Lagos. There are centres for migration and development in all of the following countries: Egypt, Ghana, Iraq, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tunisia and Jordan; in Indonesia preparations for a centre are underway.
Nigeria is one of the countries from which relatively large numbers of people migrate to Europe irregularly. Many people are not aware of the risks involved, they often put their trust in false promises or in exaggerated social media posts about supposed success stories. The advice provided in the centres is meant to ensure that people interested in migrating are able to make well-informed decisions. In many cases it makes more sense to start by training for one of the jobs for which there are lots of vacancies in Europe, in order to pave the way for migrating legally to Germany.
In Nigeria, as elsewhere, the engagement of the development ministry on migration issues goes hand in hand with efforts to improve the local training system and promote employment in the country as well, because Nigeria also needs well-trained skilled workers, for example in the health sector.