CDAR ADVOCATES MIGRATION POLICY ON REMITTANCE INFLOWS TO NIGERIA
By NAOMI UZOR
The Director of Centre for Demographic and Allied Research (CDAR) of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Professor Cletus Agu has stressed the need for government to put in place migration policy targeted towards reducing income inequality more in urban areas than in rural areas.
Professor Agu said this at a workshop held in Abuja with the theme 'International Remittances, Poverty and Inequality: The West African Case (IRPI-TWAC)', designed to disseminate the preliminary findings of the study conducted by the Centre and supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
He noted that remittances are most often ear-marked for specific purpose like subsidizing general household expenses and household education spending, adding that the findings revealed that recipients of remittances have lower poverty compared to similar households that did not receive remittances but the difference is not statistically significant and recipients are mainly responsible youths that can be trusted who belong to the active population.
A Senior Research Fellow at the Centre, Mr. Jude Chukwu who also presented paper at the workshop called on the government to fully domesticate the relevant migration laws already in use in already some countries to provide a sound national level framework for migration policy and practice.
Chukwu said the process of formulating a national migration policy began and this led to a draft National Policy on Migration which was discussed in a national conference in April 2007 but the draft policy was not signed by the appropriate authorities.
'The imperativeness of regulating migration and its attendant employment issues necessitates the existence of rules and regulations that all stakeholders must abide upon compelled Nigeria to ratify both the Migration for employment Convention, 1949 (No. 97) of the International Labour Organization and the United Nation convention on the protection of the inalienable rights of all migrant workers and members of their families, 1990. Some relevant legal standards in the above instruments have been incorporated into national legislation,' he noted
According to the policy brief discussed at the workshop, 'findings on the end use of remittances indicate that most Nigerian migrant workers prefer to use the Western Union money transfer facility than the Money Gram facility to remit money back home.
This is done more on a quarterly frequency than on a monthly basis. Also, the study finds that most remitted funds to Nigeria originate more from close family members such as siblings and relations than from non-relatives.
Furthermore, the study also reveals that remittances are most often ear-marked for specific purposes like subsidizing general household expenses and household education spending. Recipients are mainly responsible youths that can be trusted who belong to the active population. It is also discovered that remittances inflow into Nigeria is not gender biased but poor and moderately poor groups are the largest recipients'