Return and Recuperation Strategies on Returnees to Nigeria: The Libya Episode

A. J. Aluko

Department of Public Administration, Obafemi Awolowo University,

D. O. Apeloko, PhD

Department of Public Administration, Obafemi Awolowo University,

Bello M. Ayodele, PhD

Department of Public Administration, Obafemi Awolowo University


The paper examined the strategies put in place by the governmental agencies for the reintegration of returnees. Primary and secondary data were utilized for the study. Preliminary data were collected through the administration of questionnaires and interviews. The study population (10,369) comprised the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA, 34), National Agency against Trafficking in Persons and other related crime (NAPTIP, 108), International Organisation for Migration (IOM, 34), Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM, 15) and Nigeria returnees (10,180) from Libya. The sample for the study was made up of 399 respondents. The distribution is as follows: NEMA (17), NAPTIP (54), IOM (16), NiDCOM (15), and returnees (297). Secondary data will be obtained from decision extracts of the agencies on matters relating to the subject matter, conciliation meetings, and internet sources. Data collected were analyzed using frequency, distribution, percentage, and Chi-square. The study showed the effect of strategies put in place by governmental agencies, which have enhanced the economic development of the returnees; reduced irregular or illegal migration to Europe through the Libya route; returnees’ psychological rehabilitation of returnees in Nigeria. Furthermore, the Chi-square analysis showed that the x2 cal (9.2) is greater than x2tab (5.99); hence, the rejection of the null hypothesis and it founds a significant relationship between government agencies and the returnees’ reintegration. The study concluded that governmental agencies’ strategies have an effect on the reintegration of the returnees.

KEYWORDS: Reintegration, Strategy, Libya, Nigeria, Return, Government


The purpose of reintegration of the returnees is entrenched in the immediate environment, community, and family. Similarly, the realignment of the returnees through the introduction of strategies is hinged on factors responsible for migration. These conditions are often known as pull-push factors which necessitate reintegration strategies for the returned migrants. As a result of these factors, threats and violence on the returnees, assess to economic opportunities; community structures; relationships and family relations, availability of health care system; psychosocial treatment; education; housing; cultural; and language backing, reintegration strategies are classified into three categories. By extension, the reintegration of returnees requires huge investment, resources, and data (Musalo, Frydman, Cernadas, 2015; Knoll, Veron & Mayer, 2021; Kusari, 2021; Lietaert & Kuschminder, 2021; Apeloko, D. O.  and O. O. Ayeni, 2012)

It is the responsibility of government agencies to oversee the returnees’ reintegration process, which is overseen by the resources and data at their disposal, as well as the investment allocated for it. The agencies, on the other hand, are both globally and locally created on cooperation, coordination, and collaboration through partnering in both incentives and policy frameworks in the reintegration of returnees in the country of origin. Having developed the synergy for the returned migrants, efforts are combined between international and local response agencies. The agencies include the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). The functions of these agencies converged on the design, establishment, and execution of the framework for the re-establishment of returned migrants towards economic, social, and psychosocial strategies.

Black, Arrisson, Lee, Marshall & William (2004); Strand, Boers, Idzerda, Kirwan, Kvien, Tugwell & Dougados  (2011) and Koser & Kuschminder (2015) also buttress factors responsible for migrant returnees as conditions in the host country (returnees’ policies, inability to acclimatized and integrated into the destination country, living states and others) and conditions in home country (fundamental human rights, safety, social and economy, personal belongings such as shelter, employment opportunities, and personal relationship). Thus, individual factors influencing the decision to return to the country of origin are structural, individual, policy frameworks and returned migrants’ readiness. However, as a result of the effect of irregular on the returnees, this study raises a research question on what are the effects of reintegration strategies on the returnees from Libya in Nigeria?, It is on this premise that this paper assesses the effect of reintegration strategies on the returnees from Libya, providing answer to the study question via the paper objective.

Problematising the Returnees Reintegration

Transition to Libya, according to IOM in 2019, as cited in Boyd-Mcmillan & DeMarinis, (2020) and  Rever (2020) opine that physical brutality (shoving, slapping, grabbing, forced twisting of the migrant’s body, ingestion forcefully of hard substances, pushing, inflicting injuries with weapons, choking and biting, as well as burning); sexual – incest, testing of virginity, forceful sterilization, pregnancy and abortion, exposure to pornography, sexual harassment, anal or vaginal rape, genital mutilation of females, child/early or forced marriage, sexual exploitation through trafficking; psychological (harassment at workplace, insults, and humiliations, restrictions and isolation to communication, control with coercion, and threat of violence); and economic deprivation characterize migrants experiences in the course of migrating to Europe through Libya. As a result of the foregoing, repatriation comes to display owing to the traumatic experience of migrants in Libya. These experiences and others have continued to attract attention globally and locally, as this suggest, IOM (2019); Oxford (2020) and El Ghamari (2016) recent survey indicates that over 181,000 departures of immigrants arrive in Libya, while 193, 581 have been internally displaced in Libya with various degrees of violence not devoid of physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence which has always been at the fore of migrants’ repatriation process.

However, existing studies on reintegration (Kuschminder, 2017), Lietaert (2019) argues that the real culprit is not migrant repatriation or return to Nigeria; rather, it’s reintegration agencies and their ability or lack thereof to fulfil their responsibilities in making reintegration programmes successful in the country of origin. Even though government agencies and strategies are in place to assist returning citizens, the difficulties militating in the reintegration procedures seem unrelated to the lack of adequate reintegration programmes for the returnees particularly in the country of birth. Instead, it appears that the difficulties they face in reintegration are due to other factors which are often identified as push-pull factors indicated in both country of origin and destination countries. On this basis, the current state of Nigeria on the returning citizens finds it difficult to reintegrate into the society they had left behind. Peradventure, these challenges persist in spite of the programme put in by government for the recuperation of returnees, the returned migrant from the destination country to their home countries may engage in criminal behaviour, such as robbery and drug use, or even commit suicide as a result of the pressure to find work in an already overcrowded labour market in the host country, perhaps the programmes fail to achieve defined purpose. In a related development, (Mercier et a., 2016) posits that if they fail to live up to their family and society’s expectations, returnees face stigma and discrimination especially from their respective families. In addition, returned citizens may develop an inferiority complex as a result of returning to their home countries, which could have a significant impact on their lives.

Although in light of the aforementioned clearly shows the effect of absence, lack or inappropriate implementation of reintegration strategies in Nigeria, it gives the impression of huge benefits derived from the records of recuperation of returnees through economic, social and psychosocial strategies. Significantly, socio-cultural, economic and psychosocial factors have an impact on a returnees’ ability to reintegrate back into their home country. On this account, mental maps, bankruptcies and behavioural patterns of those who relocate generally are impacted by cultural adaptations for international assignees in the home country. For some people, returning to their pre-assignment behaviour can be difficult, because their behaviour dynamism has occurred significantly while on an international duty for the recuperation of the returned migrants in home country. While in addition, migrant who relocate abroad also lose contact with their “social network of colleagues and supervisors within the domestic organization, reintegration processes cover the missing gap between the migrants and the labour market.” As they return, many tasks await their return, including reconnecting with old friends and learning how to use the most up-to-date technological advances, and they return home because of the loneliness and anxiety that they experience while living abroad. The procedure of reintegration procedures on the returnees, this study raises a research question on what are the effects of reintegration strategies on the returnees from Libya in Nigeria? It is on this premise that this paper assesses the effect of reintegration strategies on the returnees from Libya, providing answer to the study question via the paper objective.

Assessment of Reintegration Programs

Schulhofer and Sambanis (2010) and Jawaid (2017) emphasise that returnees who are given assistance in their efforts to reintegrate economically into society have a greater chance of succeeding in establishing themselves as economically independent once they have returned home. Because it is common for returnees to be unable to make a wage that allows them to support themselves in their home countries, many of the programmes that are designed to assist returnees in readjusting back into society include provisions for economic readjustment. This type of assistance can be of great use to returnees who are in need of skills or resources in order to (re)establish adequate and sustainable income generation for themselves and their families. However, economic reintegration assistance may also take the form of collective or community-based assistance, and the various levels of assistance may not necessarily be mutually exclusive from one another. This section provides an overview of the various forms of individual economic assistance. For instance, returnees can receive individual assistance with particular needs such as high levels of non-productive debt (Van Hear, 2004), and they can also receive assistance within the context of a collective project to set up an activity that will provide them with a source of income that will be sustainable over the long term. Both kinds of assistance can be given out at the same time if necessary.

Returnees who are physically able to find work have the option, as part of the process of economic reintegration, of participating in the local labour market as self-employed business owners, co-owners of collective businesses (such as cooperatives), or wage or salaried workers. These options are available to returnees who are physically able to find work, such as training or educational support (vocational training, skills’ development, finance and budgeting counselling) (Wilson, 2012); Job placement (apprenticeship/on-the-job training, paid internships) (El, 1991; Porto & Parson, 2002); and Job placement (apprenticeship/on-the-job training, paid internships), and Job placement (apprenticeship/on-the-job training, paid internships). These are all examples of individual economic reintegration assistance that could be provided to returnees to assist them in gaining access to the opportunities that were described earlier in this paragraph. When developing strategies for economic reintegration, it is important to take into account the specific requirements and capabilities of the returning individual, as well as the local labour market, the social environment, and the resources that are currently available.

In order to access social services, many people who have returned home, require some degree of assistance, either immediately upon arrival or subsequently in the process of reintegration (Arowolo, 2000). An important part of social reintegration support for individuals returning to their home country in that country is to make it easier to access and make referrals to a wide range of public infrastructure services such as affordable housing and educational opportunities. Reintegration services are tailored to the specific needs of each individual returnee by the organisation in charge of reintegration or its partners. When it comes to helping returnees find a place to live, case managers and service organisations oftentimes rely on word-of-mouth or other informal connections. Despite their importance, these connections are extremely fragile. Staff turnover makes them vulnerable to being compromised because they necessitate intimate knowledge of the local community. Returnees in this context have difficulty securing a place to live because of the need to pay rental deposits, security deposits, and to show proof of a steady job. Moreover, returnees with large families, those with disabilities, or those who are single parents may face discrimination in certain settings. A returnee’s best bet is to work with a case manager to find a housing situation that is both ideal for them and one that can be maintained over the long term. It’s critical to consider the following aspects when selecting an appropriate place to stay: What is the returnee’s preference in terms of proximity to their family members and the community in which they were raised? Additionally, sustainable housing requires foresight into possible future changes. Returning to a more stable housing situation after building capital, social networks and a new home can have both positive and negative effects on an individual’s life. People who move back to their home country may have difficulty finding housing at first. Carr (2014) argued that it could be due to a lack of money and/or if the home is damaged by bad weather, for example. To improve housing sustainability during reintegration, returnees should be assessed for possible housing issues, prepared for these issues, and then followed up.

The primary goal of individual psychosocial assistance to assist returning migrants’ psychological well-being and ability to re-establish social networks (Williamson and Robinson, 2006; Silove, Ventevogel and Rees, 2017). Moreover, individual psychosocial assistance is most commonly provided through counselling, but clinical referrals should be considered in certain circumstances. Even if a returnee does not have clinical needs for psychosocial counselling, it is critical for long-term integration to have a healthy social life, networks, and contacts. Many shifts occur in a person’s mental and emotional state as they embark on a journey across the ocean. Migrants undergo a transformational process after fleeing their home country, one that takes into account the reasons they left, their journey, the welcome they receive in their new country, and their ability to adapt and reintegrate. Traumatic experiences can influence a person’s re-entry into society, culture (including gender norms), and behaviour in both old and new environments. It doesn’t matter if they’re big or small, positive or negative, conscious or not. Doyle and Peterson (2005) previously contend that migration can be disruptive, even if it occurs in an organic way, if it is a result of a difficult choice or if the return is forced upon migrants, especially if they have little choice but to return to their home country. The reintegration of returnees can be made easier if these aspects are recognised and taken into account when providing assistance.

All of these factors play a role in returnees’ overall well-being in their psychosocial life. A sense of failure and loss, a negative self-perception, and other deep negative psychological reactions may accompany the difficulties of re-establishing ties to family and friends, difficulties creating an income, and the uncertainty of facing a new life in a country that has changed during their absence (or that returnees perceive very differently after their migratory experience) (or that returnees perceive very differently after their migratory experience). It is essential to pay attention to the psychosocial aspects of reintegration and the psychological, social, and cultural challenges they present in order to help migrants achieve long-term integration. Personal psychosocial support is an important component of successful reintegration. As a result of toxic stress, deep anxieties, and social stigma, many people are unable to participate in or take advantage of livelihood opportunities. When it comes to ensuring the well-being of members of the community, this is especially important. This state of mind makes it difficult to make decisions about the future at all (Kuschminder, 2017; Kandilige and Adiku, 2020). For example, there are few cases of reintegration assistance, although it was carried out on Italian returnees.

Recuperation results associated with geographical context

Number of reintegration cases Regions of Origin Part I Part II Part III Part IV Part V
Asia 11 21 42 44 108
Europe and Community of Independent States (CIS) 13 21 40 19 33
Latin America 18 33 112 162 265
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) 84 30 55 21 53
Sub-Saharan Africa 48 34 70 50 111
Total reintegration cases 174 139 319 296 570

Source: Adapted from IOM AVR Framework, 2015.

Examination of Forced Return and North Africa Experiences

Baser, Mehmet and Fatimah (2018) enumerate causes of deportation, though scholarly structured into the pattern, remote and immediate reactions. The acknowledgement of root causes enumerated are; i) exposure of refugees or asylum to timeless detention officially internal to the government or non-state actors, in this circumstance, the militia directives, ii) forceful detainment of migrant, subsequently subjecting to graven conditions with little or no food, servitude, torture, forced labour and other dehumanizing experiences, iii) automatic detention of migrant on the sea without trial, iii) non-legal presence of legal and administrative processes on immigration detention, iv) insensitivity of the government to the plights and vulnerability of migrant (ill-treatment, i.e. human trafficking and rape), and v) broker of deals with Libyan Government and militias to control migrant in-spite of severe and abuse of human rights. In supporting the enumeration of GDP, the above contributions are valid for their progress.

Repatriation of migrants to home countries is no doubt the resultant effect of immigrant actions as well as inactions that spike the anger of the host countries. But an upheaval of remote and immediate menace violently nurtured from accumulated grievances invested as a result of feedback or consequences of actions. In that circumstance, reviewed by Sönmez (2020), and Fishman-Duker (2019), Douglas Murray (2017), contribute to the issues from several accounts in the book titled “Strange Death of Europe.” In that contribution to the aforementioned, sexual assaults were increasing, and some of these include; German women in years respectively (20, 55, 21, 17, 21, 25) raped by asylum seekers in Germany in which, most of them are Africans and middle east asylum seekers (30, 30, 25, 21, 28) years old respectively. Although, many of these rape cases made it to judicial trials, while some never made it to the judicial parlance. 

Ullah (2014) and Al Jazeera (2013b) in this report reveal another official cause of the deportation of Africans from the land of Israel. In part, the sudden legislation against the foreigners in Israel to detain any migrants under the new regime dispensation spurs Africans’ mass movement. Contrary to the opinion of Guardian and Al Jazeera contributions, self-defacements, hatred, being short-changed, and inferiority complex could be a violent action against the Africans and infuriates a hostile environment. Al Jazeera (2014) and Long (2013) report that over two million migrants were repatriated owing to sudden legislation against the immigrants. Hence, breaking down the sanity of the host environment.

Migrants and refugees in North Africa are open to dreadful violations of the rights of human persons. The horrendous actions on human rights violations have continued to thrive as a result of state institutions that are weakened by persistent years of political division and conflict (AI, 2017 cited in Macintyre, 2020). Recently, the upheavals in North Africa, as reports revealed, for example, the extant studies on Libya remain scanty, however, it may be a meaningful action of Gaddafi’s restricted administration against disclosure of migrants’ identity in Libya. Academicians, researchers, scholars, and other affiliated research groups were restricted from researching migration and related issues. That is, issues concerning unilateral arrest, detention, and other anti-humanity activities raised tension on encryption on exposing Libya through research programmes (Hamood, 2008).

Notwithstanding, borders on research in North Africa do not stop other states’ activities from conducting findings on what, why, and how migrants are flowing from the West Africa region, most especially Nigeria in that circumstance. However, Adepoju (2002), de Haas (2008), and Raineri (2019) opine that the level of migration and its consequences can be logically raised from the experiences of returned migrants through holistic research on the returnees. In other words, some have criticise the notion separately from being in tandem to some factors, which are not familiar, particularly attributed to each region vis-à-vis the development of the home country. Ultimately, Libya government activities on various transactions occurring in the country contributes to the psychological trauma experienced by the migrants.

In an attempt to control the internal governance in the host countries, anti-government protesters consequently became wide in revolts in rejecting the ideology of Colonel Mummah Al-Gaddafi’s for example, the promotion of the sub-Saharan combined foreign treaties popularized Libya as receiving state for migrants coupled with the nearness of Libya to Europe (Loescher, 2014 and Bob-Miller and Bob-Miller, 2013). Likewise, the urge to control internal governance by the Libyans did not just commence in a short while but consequently brewed from both remote and immediate causes. The remote reason, on the other hand, as mentioned in (Bredeloup & Pliez, 2011), is a perceived sense of injustice, widespread corruption, tyranny, and several years of marginalization politically. In another study Bob-Miller (2012) & de Haas (2007a; 2007b) also contribute that the root cause of repatriation can also be linked to the heavy inclusion of foreign nationals into key positions in Libya, thereby subjecting the citizens to menial jobs. Although, the plausibility of having all these as remote causes could be accepted. But be that as it may, individual, group and economic downturns cannot be set aside to determine the major causes of the repatriation of Nigerians from Libya.

Kuschminder (2014) reveals the causes of repatriation and deportation of foreigners in North Africa to countries of birth as suggested by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees through the vulnerability of environmental porosity. This, on the other hand, UNHCR report, found that harsh conditions of the environment, the prevalence of criminal schemes and lack of the rule of law, precarious mobility and lack of medical assistance and other basics (food, water, and clothing) necessitate the sanctity of readjustment strategies on returnees. Categorically, this in turn, impact positively on home country socio-economic environment returnees’ economic capacity is enhanced. Despite those causes of repatriation of foreigners in Nigeria, it is no doubt that the illegal detainment of migrants, maltreatment along the transit route such as being subject to a beating, whipping, robbing, forced labour, sexual molestation, and exploitation characterized the host country as it appears in Libya in that circumstance.

The present dispensation of instability in Libya, South Africa, and Angola, among others, have seriously deteriorated foreigners’ capacity to grow and develop in the destination countries. According to UNHCR (2014) report, the threat of armed violence, xenophobic actions, and outright discrimination against foreigners, especially the Nigerians who are “known as Hustlers”, are being victimized to leaving the destination countries. In that spirit, by inception, the mandate of the agency for the reintegration of returnees in Nigeria, for instance, prepares the ground for migrant returnees from various host countries and enunciates the readiness of NCFRMI, NEMA, NAPTIP, and NiDCOM. They have saddled the primary roles of readjusting the returned migrant into the country of origin purportedly. On the contrary, it also alludes to the dehumanization of foreigners in the host country. Libya especially is not in tandem with the signatory of the 1951 Conventions. This enabled it, to some extent, the ordeal of irrational activities against humanity in the host country.

Arising from the previous text, the remote cause of repatriation and deportation of migrants from Libya pass-off from the distance from the signatory to 1951 treaties. The non-alignment of Libya perhaps snowballs gradually some implications and consequences of sanctions on any particular erring member can affect those actions as well as inactions of the global body to an extent restrain the countries from infringing on the human rights of host and home country citizens. For example, in Italy, Povoledo (2013) opines those human rights violations are characterized and likewise criticized by international organizations, which also represent the roots of Africans (Nigerians, Ethiopians, Somalis, and Sudanese) repatriations in Italy. Alluding to the above statements, (de Haas & Sigona, 2012) posits that another salient reason that can be responsible for the deportation of foreign nationals from the host countries is also hinged on the increasing rate of influx of undocumented migrants from the host countries, which subsequently engaged in low-skilled job and extremely informal such as construction sites, a sales representative in retails outlets, agricultural circuit. Opinions of the writers vary due to individuals’ reasoning and logical capacity presentations. Dumont and Spielvogel (2008a; 2008b), in contesting the above fact, same reasons for leaving the country of birth can also be accounted for leaving the destination country. That every county has its own beliefs, culture, traditions, and government, of which some of these causes are a general phenomenon. Causes, either remote or immediate, can be general. These are landslides, and flooding could be an available signal for migration.

Away from the individual perspective, the argument also spurs from the theory of Abraham Maslow on Motivation theory. However, Maslow’s theory postulated six hierarchies of satisfaction which we can summon the leverage on some of those things that fuelled the crisis of exploitation, maltreatment, dehumanization, extortion, human trafficking, sex trade, and smuggling of migrants for economic pursuit (Anyanwu, Omolewa, Adeyeri, Okanlawon, Siddiqui, 1995). In the same vein, in an attempt to source for the basic needs, which are relative in persons and insatiable. However, individual interest depends on time, age, level, position, status, and achievement that dictates the scourge for aggressive steps to confront their setbacks. In another development, Cerase (1974) enumerates four key factors as determinants of returning the migrant in Italy: prejudice, selfish interest rather than common interest (this can be described as voluntary return), incapacitation due to old age, and innovative mind.

In contrast to the summations of Cerase (1974), the listed determinant for migrant returnees can be expelled by countering his reaction to his opinion based on the following ways include the racial life that is expended by the host country, the high tax rate on the accumulated wealth, stringent migration policy, among others other could be responsible for returnees to his or her country of birth. In the same vein, Dumont and Spielvogel’s (2008) findings classified Cerase’s perception of migrant return to their home country as i) inability to acclimatize or synchronize easily into the destination country, ii) comparison of host and home country aftermath of departure from the country of origin, iii) premeditated decision on the tendency to savings, and iv) employment opportunities in the home after-acquired self-development at the host country. Although, the findings of Dumont & Spielvogel (2008) do not hold in every contingency as returning of migrants is dynamic in deciding what factors may be responsible for repatriation vis-à-vis the consequent of rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees from host counties.

Klinthall (2006) and Escobar et al., (2006) argue that another factor that is imperative, which causes the uprising of migrants’ return decision back to the home country. However, the opinion of Klinthall and Shorthand invalidate the findings of Dumont and Spielvogel, which asserts that the paradigm of returnees to their home country can also be stemmed from the residency state of the migrant in the destination countries. In that study, it is, however, affirmed that decision of migrant to return is in connection with migrant’s economy and residence rights permanently, limitless residence rights of migrant’s ecomigrant’s) migrant’s economy and provisional rights to stay, migrants under provisional safety or welfare reasons. In this context, the decision of migrants to return to their home country largely, to an extent, depends on their right to stay provisionally or permanently.

The host country, on the other hand, may be to blame for a sudden shift in a migrant’s status. To put it another way, the new government’s stricter immigration policies could have an impact on this. People who moved to New Zealand or Canada in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s to establish a business or to reunite with family may be more likely to leave the host country after five years than those who migrated for other reasons, such as education or training. In contrast to Klinthall and Escobar et al. (2006) and Cerase (1974), who in their studies posit that returned migrants depend on economic residency achieved over time and changes in government migration policy, Koser and Kuschminder (2015) present their study against this backdrop. Koser and Kuschminder, on the other hand, categorised the factors that influence migrants’ voluntary and involuntary return home. According to the categorization, individual aspects like gender, social relations, and age, as well as policy involvements in the context of reintegration processes as incentives or sanctions in home and destination countries, are considered. Trafficking in Persons (National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking). Returned migrants’ decisions to return to their home countries are largely based on “returnees’ “preparedness,” according to Cassarino (2004). He believes that readiness and disposition are influenced by the two nuclei fundamentals. Environmental factors, on the other hand, often preclude the ability to put together both concrete and in-concrete economic vices, making it difficult to return home voluntarily.

According to another study, traffickers and their militias operating in North Africa — particularly Libya — have contributed to the repatriation and deportation of Nigerian migrants to their home country, even though this may be occurring in countries all over Sub-Saharan Africa. Jordan and Prendella, 2019 confirmed that child trafficking and smuggling are major focus areas for those involved in trafficking, but the study includes all forms of deportation or repatriation, no matter how old or how young the individual is. Approximately 679,897 migrants have been identified in North Africa (primarily in the Cairo, Tripoli, Tunisia, and Morocco region) as of June 2018, including 54,392 children, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). About 4,574 of the migrants are said to be in detention centres, which means that 33 percent of the children involved in the conversation are travelling alone.

It is also possible to point to the death of Muammar Gaddafi in late 2011 as another reason for Libyans returning home. It is because of this and other factors that foreigners are subjected to sex attacks in Libya, where there is a political vacuum and dangerous activities. It’s no surprise that the international community and Islamist factions are battling for control of Libya. In addition, there is the battle for economic supremacy. However, the hardships of the Mediterranean Sea contribute to migrants returning from their long journeys. As an example, it will take about 1000 kilometres, 1200 kilometres and 1400 kilometres to get to Tripoli, Tunisia and Morocco from Nigeria (Wikipedia). Migrants are at risk during this time of transition for various forms of abuse and hardship, including sexual molestations like rape and rape, beatings, theft, malnutrition, and illegal detention without charge or trial for extended periods of time. The findings of Bernd and Alenxandra (2018) show that Africans, particularly those from the sub-Saharan region, face difficulties in obtaining an official document to remain in Germany.

Reintegration Assessment and Performance on Returnees

Whenever a reintegration programme is implemented, its effects can be seen by the participants. The migrant returnees’ human development has benefited from this as well. Moreover, the program’s expansion into the general public. As a matter of fact, there is no point in monitoring and evaluating certain work if there are no policies, plans, or programmes to monitor. Every milestone of migrant reintegration must be met in order to have an impact on the long-term reintegration process. Families and communities are also affected by returning citizens, as is the government. The occurrence of returning migrants is a cyclical process. Tradition, if not ritual, promotes global trends and patterns of integration through repetition. Aside from that, global reintegration trends could alter the way people think about migration. Readjustment concerns also include a wide range of actors, including those who have been abroad for a long time, those who have incentives and a strategy for living abroad, and those who have a sense of legitimacy as a migrant. One of the most important aspects of the reintegration pattern is that it allows vulnerable groups who have no intention of returning to their home countries to develop to their full potential. This is the view of several scholars, such as Cassarino (2015), Farell, Mahon and McDonagh (2012), Stark (1996) and Apeloko (2021).

The vulnerable group, on the other hand, is a response to inequitable distribution and allocation of resources to the governed, rather than a reflection of labour withdrawal from the country of origin. However, this category of vulnerable dispersals includes a variety of scholars, including students, skilled labour, and semi-skilled personnel, as mentioned previously in the literature (Glaser and Habers, 1974; Kuschminder, 2014; Thorn and Lauritz, 2006; McLaughan and Salt, 2002; Lowell and Findlay, 2001; Vertovec, 2002; Cervantes and Guellec, 2002; and Wickramasekara, 2003). Furthermore, trafficking in persons of individuals from home country and smuggling of migrants having been shown with recent development of unequal allocation of the commonwealth, the return of refugees after a plethora of confrontations from the destination countries’ citizens, government, and militias, particularly in Libya, have indicated as a deceptive tool which is adopted by “Ogas and Madams” as usually referred to by migrants (Cassarino 2008; Iredale et al., 2001; McCormick and Wahba 2003).

Consequently, migration patterns can be classified into the aforementioned categories in the context of this study. Illegal routes to Europe are possible for other groups through both legal and illegal channels. Both TIP and Smuggling of Migrants can be tentatively categorised as two distinct groups (SOM). There should not be sufficient justification for the achievement of migrants’ development goals in migration politics and processes and patterns if returnees can be reintegrated into society regardless of their route of transit. Another study found that because of their destination, TIP and SOM are frequently returned to their countries of origin. In most cases, the incapacitated group in TIP represents modern slavery. This is child labour and the abuse that goes along with it. SOM, on the other hand, refers to the migrant known as an illegal, unregistered, or undocumented migrant.

Tripartite benefits accrue to the returnees from host countries to their home countries when they are reintegrated. Individuals (migrants), their home countries (of origin), and their final destination countries will all benefit from the interconnected nature of reintegration as the specified agencies work together to achieve the goals and objectives of global government. From the findings of Mohapatra and Ratha (2011), it can be inferred that a reintegration system is beneficial to both primary and secondary stakeholders. In contrast, (Dumont & Spielvogel, 2008) argues that the reintegration of returnees into the environment may have a superficial impact on the home country because of the nature and scope of reannexing the returnees into the environment. Mohapatra and Ratha (2011), along with the earlier work of Dumont and Spielvogel (2008), both challenge the conventional wisdom about how objective these scholars are. Alternatively, the contributions of these researchers can be compared in terms of the specificity with which they assist those who have been trafficked, smuggled, or who have overstayed their visas in the country illegally. An effective enabling environment, especially for those with an abject mind, can be created from the bowels of this review’s findings. Corroboration for this study comes from various categories of people who indicate that they intend to move from their home country to the state where they intend to settle. On the other hand, migration is built on the basis of security, economic pursuit and political upheaval.

According to the research conducted by Molenaar and El Kamouni-Janssen (2017), the necessity of Assistance Voluntary Reintegration (AVR) occurs within the confines of a network of smuggling humans into various locations. This, on the other hand, focuses not just on international transiting but also on trafficking within countries, child labour, and the smuggling of people from one location to another. In addition, he confirms that all of these wills were carried out within the framework of irregular dynamics of interaction with national government, regional or state government, as well as changes in local political and economic systems. Molenaar and El Kamouni-Janssen support the idea that the reintegration programme effect has the potential to reduce illegal and unauthorised migration. In a different turn of events, the effect might take on an individualistic character in this sense. In this way, some people may exhibit the effects either on the social level, while others may display the effect on the psychosocial, and still others may be on the economic sagacity achieved during the period in which the AVR was incubating.

In a similar vein, the statutory functions of agencies involved in the readjustment of migrants into their country of birth will be able to provide some insight into the effects of the reintegration programme. Enforcement and reinforcement of strategies on returning citizens by the relevant agencies In Nigeria, for example, the NCFRMI, NEMA, NAPTIP, NiDCOM, and IOM are charged with the responsibility of managing, controlling, and developing the migrant population (which includes asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDP), refugees, stateless persons (SP), and returnees). In the first place, the effect of the reintegration process can be further strengthened by proper monitoring of returnees who have been fragmented, strict adherence to training and workshops, surveillance of migrants with a full participatory development programme, and so on. On the basis of this, returnee adaptations and self-acclimatization in the process make the strategies’ impact worse.

According to yet another finding, the term “adjustment to the reintegration process” can be used interchangeably with “reintegration” when referring to this particular aspect. Penkel (2016) places a strong emphasis on the need for an adjustment programme that is improved for both expatriates and repatriates. Due to the fact that the effect of reintegration can only be measured on the migrant themselves, the study has the effect of narrowing the view specifically of reintegration strategies. In other words, the problems that arise from the deportation and repatriation of migrants have their roots in the country that is hosting them. In the past, (Hammer, Hart, and Rogan, 1998) proposed the idea that an individual’s expectation is polarised in both positive and negative resolution before and after a return. As a result of this contribution, Penkel is able to express the effect of reintegration both as a precursor to and a consequence of the return of migrants to the country in which they were born (2016). In order to provide further clarification regarding the effect of reintegration, as stated by (Penkel, 2002; Hammer, Hart, and Rogan, 1998), the reintegration effect is qualitative in terms of migrant projections to release themselves so that they can be reincorporated into the primary environment. Consequently, the effects of reintegration on returnees are significantly impacted, tentatively, on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants by ensuring that the following measures are put in the proper channel before these impacts can be probably measured. The salient needs of returnees involve the following parameters:

  1. Counselling psychosocially to return migrants at all stages
  2. Embassy help in the country of birth to determine they possess undeniable help such as documents and return flight travel tickets;
  3. Access to legal help,
  4. Discovery of skills and training
  5. Welcoming, information on education for the children, housing, employment decency.
  6. Means of livelihood guaranteed at the country of birth – skills, development of entrepreneurship, and start-ups for the returned.

Data Analysis

Assessing the effect of reintegration strategies on the returnees by governmental agencies

Government agencies in Nigeria are responsible for assessing the reintegration of returnees. Accordingly, the quantitative data gathered from the respondents were analysed, interpreted, and tabled in table     Aa in terms of frequency, percentage, mean, and standard deviation. It was also decided to use the four-point Likert scale in order to get more specific information from the survey participants. Table Aa provides an explanation of what the median range of respondents’ assertions means.

146 (50.6 per cent) of respondents agreed with the assertion; 110 (38.1 per cent) of respondents strongly agreed and corroborated the assertion; 21 (7.4 per cent) of respondents disagreed with the variable; and 11 (3.9 per cent) of respondents strongly disagreed with the assertion, as shown by the distribution of the variable in Table 4.3a. According to most respondents, reintegration strategies have resulted in increased economic empowerment for returnees in Nigeria (X = 3.23).

There were 181 (62.8 per cent) who agreed with the assertion that there had been a reduction in illegal and irregular migration to Europe via the Libyan route among Nigerian returnees; 55 (19.2 per cent) strongly agreed; 47 (16.4 per cent) disagreed; and only 5 (1.7 per cent) strongly agreed with the variable. (X = 2.99) was the average value of this claim. According to this data, reintegration processes appear to have reduced illegal or irregular migration to Europe via the Libyan route among returnees.

In support of the third claim, 124 (43.6 per cent) of respondents agreed with the variable; 110 (38.5 per cent) of respondents strongly agreed with the variable; 32 (7.6 per cent) of respondents disagreed with the variable; and 19 (6.6 per cent) of respondents strongly agreed confirmed the claim’s truth. This was reaffirmed by 110 (38.5 per cent) of respondents who strongly agreed with the variable. Analysis of the data showed that reintegration procedures with a mean of (X = 3. returnees’ psychological rehabilitation.

A total of 10 (3.5%) of the respondents agreed with the assertion; 10 (3.5%) strongly agreed; 155 (53.8%) of the respondents disagreed with the variable; and 113 (39.2%) of the respondents strongly disagreed with the variable in Nigeria, according to table 4.4a. Similarly, a total of 113 (39.2%) of the respondents strongly disagreed with the variable. The returnees’ social reintegration strategies (housing, health, education, and mental health) were confirmed by this variable, which had a mean value of (X = 1.76).

Furthermore, 101 (35.1 per cent) of the respondents agreed with the assertion; 155 (53.8 per cent) of the respondents strongly agreed with the assertion; 22 (7.6 per cent) of the respondents disagreed with the variable; and 10 (3.5 per cent) of the respondents strongly disagreed with the variable. An average of (X = 3.39) was found to indicate that the returnees were involved in social reintegration strategies, such as housing, health and education. In addition, the table below shows how the mean rating and scale are interpreted.

TABLE Aa: Assess the effect of the reintegration strategies on the returnees



Governmental agency’s reintegration strategies (variables)  











1 Increased economic conditions of the returnees Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree














3.23 High Extent





High Extent

2 Reduce irregular or illegal migration to Europe through the Libya route Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree












3 Improved returnees’ psychological rehabilitation in Nigeria Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree












3.11 High Extent
4 It protects the returnees from harassment and right-related humiliations Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree












3.39 Very High Extent
5 To ease or facilitates access to housing, health and educational services Strongly Agree



Strongly Disagree















1.76 Low Extent

Source: Field Survey, 2022


Table Ab: Mean Rating Interpretation (Returnees Perspective)

  Scale              Mean Rating          Remarks Interpretation
4 3.26 – 4.00 Strongly Agree Very High Extent
3 2.51 – 3.25 Agree High Extent
2 1.76 – 2.5 Disagree Low Extent
1 1.00 – 1.75 Strongly Disagree Very Low Extent

Source: Field Survey, 2022

Test of Hypothesis

Chi-square is the statistical method used to analyse the data. The study’s level of significance is set at 5%. (i.e., 0.05). We reject the Ho and accept the Hi if the x2 calculation is greater than the x2 table, and we accept the Ho and reject the Hi if the x2 calculation is less than the x2 table.

Ho: there is no positive effect between governmental agencies’ strategies and the reintegration of returnees in the study area

Hi: there is a positive effect between governmental strategies and the reintegration of returnees in the study area

Using chi-square to test Hypothesis 1

Chi-Square (X2) calculated is given as

å [ ((oi– ei)2 ]

Where oiis the observed frequency and eiis the expected frequency

Ac Table: Chi-square table for Hypothesis Testing







(oi– ei)2 (oi– ei)2



Strongly Agree/Agree 40.8 33.3 56.3 1.7
Undecided 19.1 33.3 201.6 6.1
Strongly Disagree/Disagree 40.1 33.3 46.2 1.4
Total 100.0 100 9.2

Source: Statistically generated from Table Ac

Calculated = 9.2 Degree of freedom = 3 – 1 = 2 at 5% significance level = 5.99, therefore, we reject H0 and accept its alternative. It was determined that the calculated 9.2 is greater than the tabulated (5.99) and thus, the null hypothesis is rejected because the p-value (0.03) is less than the 0.05 significant level. Thus, the study found a strong correlation between the strategies of government agencies and the reintegration of returnees. The study concluded that governmental agencies’ strategies have an effect on the reintegration of the returnees.


Reintegration strategies implemented by the government and their impact on the returnees were examined with this study objective assertion. According to the survey, suggest that majority of respondents agreed with the assertion that returning citizens’ reintegration strategies boosted their economic development. Daniel (2018) argument corroborates the findings of this study that economic strategies for reintegrating returnees in Nigeria improve their entrepreneurship skills, and the results of this study corroborate that claim. Using a sufficient sample size, the study was able to cover all levels of government agency staff, from the highest levels of management down to the lowest levels of junior staff. In the same vein, this study’s findings support government agencies’ efforts to reduce irregular or illegal migration to Europe via the Libyan route to Europe. To validate this further, 47.1 per cent of those polled agreed with the statement above, and 40.7% strongly agreed, while the remaining respondents disagreed availability of returnees’ reintegration strategies for the returned migrants in Nigeria.

As a result of the outcome of this study, there was a decrease in the amount of irregular migration caused by remigration from Nigeria transiting via dangerous route. Amidst this, the reintegration strategy, with particular reference to guardian and counselling strategies, returnees’ psychological and mental state is improved. Psychosocial reintegration strategies, according to 33.7 per cent of respondents, improve the mental health of returnees, while 54.1 per cent of respondents strongly agreed that this was the case. In addition, 25.2% of respondents disagreed; 27.3% of respondents strongly agreed that reintegration strategies do not engage the returnees in social reintegration methods (housing, health, education, and psychological). Having considers the various approaches to the reintegration of returnees in Nigeria, the effect of economic, social and psychosocial strategies on the returnees were identified in rehabilitated the returnees, realigning the returned migrant into their primary environment in the home country, empowered and re-equipping the returnees towards self-actualisation. Hence, according to the findings of the study, the strategies implemented by governmental agencies do have an impact on the returnees’ ability to successfully reintegrate into society.


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