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ILO Collaborates with HuCaPAN to Address Challenges in Outsourcing Industry

Byadulawo

Nov 27, 2023

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) will collaborate with the Human Capital Providers Association of Nigeria (HuCaPAN), the umbrella association of private employment agencies in Nigeria, to tackle the challenges facing the outsourcing industry in the country, with the aim of promoting decent employment opportunities. This announcement was made by ILO during a productive visit to the HuCaPAN Secretariat in Lagos.

Mr. Basanta Kumar Karki, the Project Technical Officer – FAIRWAY Africa of the International Labour Organisation, emphasized that ILO is eager to partner with HuCaPAN to address the issues confronting the outsourcing sector in Nigeria. He stressed the importance of enhancing institutional capacity, as unfair recruitment practices and worker exploitation often stem from inadequate systems. “The ILO is committed to providing assistance in building the capacity of private employment agencies and national stakeholders. It is crucial to change the narrative surrounding international recruitment,” stated Basanta.

Dr. Olufemi Ogunlowo, the President of HuCaPAN, expressed gratitude to Ms. Vanessa Phala, the Country Director of ILO for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, for gracing the association’s 12th Annual General Meeting. He acknowledged that the AGM marked a significant milestone for HuCaPAN, as it now operates under a new name and status, the “Employers Association for Private Employment Agencies of Nigeria (EAPEAN)”. HuCaPAN’s registration as an employer’s association by the Nigerian government has elevated its position from a tripartite plus (+) to a fully recognized tripartite within the social partners’ structure in the country.

The President highlighted the numerous challenges faced by the industry, including non-compliance with service level agreements by principal companies, multiple taxation imposed by various government agencies, complex bureaucracies involved in obtaining recruiter licenses from PEAs, demands from principal companies for loans prior to payment, and the absence of bilateral labour agreements, among others.

Represented by the 1st Vice President, Amb. Chief Nzeribe Okegbue, Ph.D, Ogunlowo expressed appreciation to ILO for their support to the association. He emphasized the significance of the visit, being the first of its kind to their office, and the opportunity it provides to acknowledge and express gratitude for the unwavering support received from ILO since the establishment and registration of HuCaPAN.

Ogunlowo also recognized the assistance provided by ILO in the development of the Code of Conduct for Private Employment Agencies in Nigeria, as well as the ongoing support under the FAIRWAY-Program, to develop a “Framework for the Engagement in International Recruitment of Nigerian Migrant Workers”.

“In collaboration with the Nigerian Government and the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA), HuCaPAN closely collaborated with the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2011 to develop the Code of Conduct (CoC) for Private Employment Agencies in Nigeria. After a decade of implementation, the Code underwent revision in 2021 with the support of the ILO under the FAIRWAY Program.

“At present, the ILO, in partnership with the Centre for Migration Studies of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (CMS-NAU), is providing support to HuCaPAN under the FAIRWAY Program to create a “Framework for the Engagement in International Recruitment of Nigerian Migrant Workers.” Recently, stakeholders gathered in Abuja to receive feedback on the draft.

“We look forward to further collaboration with the ILO, particularly in finalizing the process of the Code of Conduct for Private Employment Agencies in Nigeria and the development of the Framework for the Engagement in International Recruitment of Nigerian Migrant Workers, among other initiatives.

”During the meeting, the ILO National Project Coordinator, Mr. Austin Erameh, expressed appreciation to the association for their support during the project’s implementation and affirmed that the ILO would continue to assist the national government and stakeholders in building institutional capacity.

Other attendees at the meeting included Mr. Tunji Balogun, the 2nd Vice President of HuCaPAN, Mrs. Perita Kimeng, the Treasurer, Barr. Olawale Shado, the Advocacy and Compliance Advisor, and Mr. Jide Afolabi, the Executive Secretary.

The Human Capital Providers Association of Nigeria (HuCaPAN) is the umbrella organization representing registered and licensed recruiters in Nigeria, commonly referred to as Private Employment Agencies (PEAs). The association serves as a platform for Private Employment Agencies to engage with the government, employers, labor communities, and other relevant institutions within and outside Nigeria. Its primary objective is to promote and uphold the standards and ethical practices set forth by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in the recruitment, deployment, and management of manpower in Nigeria.

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