Ministry of Labour denies involvement in trafficking of Nigerians
Following the indictment of the Ministry of Labour and Employment last month by the House of Representative, the ministry has formally denied any involvement in illegal issuance of Recruiters’ Licence to Private Employment Agencies (PEAs) for human trafficking.
The ministry in a rejoinder issued by its Deputy Director of Public Relations, Charles Akpan, disclosed that the ministry in no way breached the relevant provisions of the Labour Act CAP L1 2004.
He further explained that in line with reducing irregular labour migration, it has put in place a Labour Migration Desk to address the problems with the movement of skilled and low skilled persons within and outside Nigeria.
The Public Relations Deputy Director made it clear that one of the basic means of implementing the principles of Convention 181 on private employment agencies was their mandatory registration and licencing.
He noted that recruiters’ licences were issued to fit and proper persons and agencies in accordance with Section 25 of the Labour Act CAP L1 2004 and other requirements for issuance.
Speaking more on the matter, Akpan insisted that recruiters are bound by the provisions of the Labour Act with respect to welfare and conditions of work of the worker and the procedures for operating the licence.
Going ahead on its clarification, the ministry stated that any citizen leaving Nigeria under a foreign contract should fulfill provisions in Section 39 of the Labour Act CAP L1, 2004.
According to Akpan, “The recruited worker must be brought before an authorized labour officer and certified by that officer as duly recruited in accordance with the provisions of the law.”
He revealed that for the fact one possesses recruiters’ licence for foreign employment does not guarantee automatic clearance for a recruiter to recruit citizens for work abroad and to date, no PEA issued clearance by the ministry had been found to be involved in human trafficking.