With most Nigerians planning to migrate from the country in search of greener pastures, the World Bank has called on the federal government to create a bilateral migration policy which would support legal migration of its citizens as a way to boost remittances and engender economic growth in the country.
Speaking at a webinar on ‘Nigeria: Perspectives on Labour Migration and Diaspora”, World Bank Economist, Samik Adhikari, urged Nigeria to sign bilateral migration agreement with countries in need of skills which migrants from Nigeria possess.
He explained that Nigeria could sign agreements with countries such as the United Kingdom which is in need of nurses, construction partnership with Germany and ICT partnership with other European countries and global partners.
“Nigeria’s working age population as we know is expanding rapidly. If we look at the population pyramid of Nigeria between now and 2015, we know that the working age population is set to expand by 133 million between now and 2050 adding to the existing employment pressure in the economy, whereas high income OECD countries are facing a rapidly aging population.
“Many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeria, remain young and will remain young until 1950. If we look at comparable countries there Nigeria’s population growth is the steepest in terms of growth compared to other countries such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, between now and 2015.
“While the population has expanded rapidly, we also know for a fact that the opportunities in the Nigerian labour market have dried up. So the first one really is on securing more and larger partnerships with destination countries.
On his part, Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki said: “Government needs to have a strategy to support migration and also understand what is going on. register these people and help provide those services that would aid them.”
He further urged the federal government on policies that would spur growth.
upport growth and except you accept an overhaul that you’re not going to find space and you are not going to have the economy growing and opportunities being created.”
On his part, the Country Director World Bank, Nigeria Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, added that the bank would continue to partner with Nigeria to finance initiatives that would spur growth.
He said: “We would continue to provide large scale financing that goes through government channels. We are here to help work with all government partners at the sub national as well as at the federal level on thinking through what are the most promising avenues to support beyond financing.”
“We are here as partners supporters, choices are Nigeria’s sources and right now, Nigeria is at a critical point where the choices it makes within the next year or even the next few months are going to determine the next few decades,” he added.