FIWON receives ILO’s start-up tools for migrant returnees
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has handed over start-up tools to the Federation of Informal Workers Organisations of Nigeria (FIWON) to reintegrate and create livelihood opportunities through access to skills and tools for migrant returnees.
The move, ILO said, was part of efforts to strengthen labour migration governance, as well as create a conducive environment for the returnees.
At the handing over ceremony, which took place at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in Yaba, Lagos, Director of ILO for the country offices in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Serra Leone, Venessa Phala, said the move was to create an environment that was conducive towards labour migration.
Phala stressed that ILO, in partnership with other stakeholders, was also making efforts to provide services that would be beneficial to the returnees and create livelihood opportunities for them through access to skills and tools.
To make this possible, she said the ILO partnered GIZ to support the reintegration of returnees and income-generating opportunities for locals and the returnees.
She said that the labour organisation also identified and worked with stakeholders such as FIWON that would provide exceptional support to some of the beneficiaries that have been trained on different skills such as catering, bakery and sewing, among others.
“Also, we have been able to integrate some of our training programmes that can improve business into the packages of training that are provided by the Migrant Resource Centre (MRC).
“We are working with MRCs in Lagos, Benin and Abuja to strengthen the institutional capacities of MRCs to be able to provide the services expected of them,” she said.
Speaking on behalf of the recipients, General Secretary of FIWON, Gbenga Komolafe, who commended the ILO gesture, said this was the first time a conscious attempt was being made to link training and empowerment to labour market integration.
According to him, “We are used to all sorts of empowerment programmes facilitated by churches, ministries, and politicians targeting young people, but the problem has been accessing the impact. Those who make use of training and add value to the economy are very few if you carry out an assessment.”
He said that it was difficult for migrant returnees to find a space to fit in after being trained and given tools.
“The problem is how to fit in. What distinguishes this is that an attempt is being made to work with those who are being established. 20,000 people are being trained in different skills and that is enormous,” he said.