Minister of Labour and Employment Simon Bako Lalong has hosted visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz at the Migrant Resource Centre in Lagos facilitated by the German Development Corporation GIZ and the Nigerian Government. 

During the visit of the German Chancellor, the Labour Minister expressed the appreciation of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the people Nigeria to the Federal Republic of Germany for supporting the establishment of the Migrant Resource Centre which has the ability to carry out rehabilitation, skill development and empowerment.

He said "Let me use this opportunity to sincerely acknowledge the continuous support of the German Government to Nigeria, through the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) for establishing the Nigerian – German Centre for Migration and Development in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, within the framework of the Partnership Agreement signed between GIZ and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment under the Global Programme, Migration for Development (PME), funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development"

Lalong said the partnership agreement was signed in recognition of the need to promote the development potentials of international labour migration and to support the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to manage labour migration in a development-oriented way, provide support for the return and reintegration of migrants, create awareness on the risk of irregular migration as well as provide advice and information on regular pathways of migration to Germany.

He said the Centre has so far recorded significant achievements in the areas of capacity building for staff of the Ministry; review and validation of the National Policy on Labour Migration 2014; and awareness creation on the dangers of irregular migration. 

Others include implementation of employment promotion activities such as, monthly Career Path/Employability trainings for job seekers; guidance and counselling for potential and returnee migrants; organization of job fair and employment promotion conferences; internship placements; business registrations; career information day, entrepreneurship training and business start-up support; social and economic reintegration of return migrants; outreach and sensitization programmes amongst others. 

"Worthy of note within this collaborative framework is that from inception of the programme in 2018 till date, a total of 320,000 beneficiaries have been provided with individual support measures. 37,600 beneficiaries have been placed in employment; 53,300 beneficiaries were provided with business startups while 87,445 beneficiaries were provided with education and qualification measures. Also, 63,500 individual counselling sessions have been provided while, 9,750 beneficiaries were provided with psychosocial support accordingly" he said.

The Minister stated that the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has encapsulated a wholistic approach towards creating economic opportunities for the teeming youths within the Renewed Hope Agenda. The President has also directed the roll out of several programmes including the funding of small and medium scale businesses as well as the provision of incentives and support to young entrepreneurs to establish and run businesses in Nigeria.

He also appealed to the Federal Republic of Germany to consider the establishment of more Migrant Support Centres in the country to further deepen the fight against irregular migration. 

The establishment of such centres particularly in other regions such as the north that is also a route for irregular migration will make access to the services rendered easier with attendant benefits.

In his remarks, the German Chancellor commended Nigeria for its commitment to addressing irregular migration and working with his country to support regular migration particularly as it relates to labour. 

He said his country continues to open its doors to skilled migrants from Nigeria and other parts of the world but will only encourage people who wish to migrate to use appropriate channels. 

Olaf Scholtz said the German-Nigerian Migrant Resource Centre is one of the avenues through which the two countries hope to further deepen their collaboration and partnership. 

He commended the Ministry of Labour and Employment for driving the project and promised more support to ensure that it attains full performance.

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