The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Dr Festus Keyamo, has said that Nigeria was committed to the integration of the African continent and the promotion of trade, movement of persons, goods and services, and infrastructural development.
Keyamo disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja, when he received a delegation of the African Union (AU), Labour Migration Advisory Committee, led by Dr. Alves D’Almada.
He said that Nigeria would always be in support of African integration “but not at the detriment of the laws of individual sovereign States in the continent”.
“African integration should benefit all countries; it should be symbiotic not parasitic; it should not be a relationship that one country will benefit at the detriment of another,” he added.
He observed that the issue of irregular migration to Europe and other non-African countries had constituted a big problem in Africa, and urged the continent’s leaders to tackle the trend.
“We need to encourage total African integration to stop migration through illegal means,” he advised.
The minister pledged Nigeria’s readiness to assist in legislation and policy to support the committee in promoting African integration.
Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Dr Alves D’Almada, had said that the visit was to explore ways of collaboration between the committee and Nigeria’s government to further promote African integration.
He listed areas of collaboration to include job creation, managing migration issues, promoting free movement of goods and services, and addressing the issue of visa-on-arrival in the continent.
D’Almada requested the assistance of the ministry toward hastening the process of ratification and domestication of laws that concern free movement of persons, goods and services.
He commended the Nigerian government on the successful negotiation of a new National Minimum Wage for its workers.