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IOM partners Google to empower Nigerian migrant returnees with digital skills

Since 2017, IOM’s reintegration support has contributed to the development of over 44 different types of small-scale businesses in all Nigeria. 

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The Google-IOM training drew 93 participants, including returning migrants in Benin City and Ikeja. Photo: IOM/Barinedum Agara

The International Organisation for Migration, IOM Nigeria has partnered with Google Nigeria to train migrant returnees on digital skills.

IOM Nigeria said in a statement posted on its website on Tuesday that the training started since December 5.

The digital skills training, according to IOM was also targeted at potential migrants in Benin City, Edo State and Ikeja, Lagos State. 

“The training drew 93 participants, including returning migrants, interested in setting up small-scale businesses as well as mentorship and job placement opportunities. The one-day training consisted of hands-on sessions on how to build participants’ online presence and improve their search campaigns, job-seeking skills online,” said IOM in the statement.

“Today I learned how to register my business online and how to use Google ads. This will help me get more customers and it will save me a lot of money and time,” the statement quoted one of the trainees, Owegie, as saying.

Most Nigerian returnees are between the ages of 18-35, and many of them return with knowledge, skills and experiences they gained prior to- or during their migration experience. 

IOM’s partnership with Google highlights the private sector’s contribution to returnees’ sustainable reintegration in Nigeria.

“This training is aimed at helping participants start a career in digital marketing, be encouraged to build digital start-ups, and advance in the workplace,” said Temitope Saliu, Growth Tribe Africa trainer for Google Digital Skills Programme.

The initiative complements the traditional business skills training, which equips Nigerian returnees with the knowledge and skills to prepare themselves for the next steps in their reintegration and kickstart small businesses.

Also, read No going back on the deportation of illegal migrants in Nigeria by January 12 – FG

Business skills training is an opportunity for returning migrants to meet one another and allows returnees to share their experiences and pool together their in-kind assistance, skills, and resources to establish more sustainable businesses. 

Since 2017, IOM’s reintegration support has contributed to the development of over 44 different types of small-scale businesses in all Nigeria. 

Following the event, the trainees will have access to the Google Digital Skills for Africa e-learning platform to continue their learning.

“The digital skills training will help improve the participants’ use of digital skills to contribute to their economic growth as entrepreneurs, thereby further filling in critical gaps in the labour market, fitting their businesses within existing supply chains, and invariably contributing to development,” explained Alex Cole, IOM Nigeria Programme Support Officer - Migrant Protection and Assistance.

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