The report provides a comprehensive assessment of where Nigerian legislation and policy incorporate the provisions of the four Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Protocols on Free Movement, Residence and Establishment of persons or where legislative or other dispositions are missing to give full effect to the Protocols. The review indicated that many provisions of these Protocols are established in national legislation and/or policy and concluded that much is already accomplished in domesticating these ECOWAS Protocols.
However, this review also found that a significant number of provisions, particularly applying to immigration law and regulations, were not reflected or may be contradicted in Nigeria’s Immigration Act. This is not surprising, given that the Immigration Act in force and its accompanying regulations date back to 1963. Several lacunae and divergences were also identified in labour and employment law and policy.
These important gaps require remedy for Nigeria to: (1) comply with its ECOWAS treaty commitments; (2) guarantee the rights and protections for ECOWAS Community citizens in Nigeria; and (3) support respect for the rights and welfare of Nigerians circulating, residing and establishing employment or business activity in other ECOWAS Member States. Of immediate concern is the lacuna in domesticating provisions of the Protocols related to immigration law, regulations and policy that are not resolved in the Immigration Bill under consideration by the National Assembly.