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Trans-Border Studies

 | 
Labo Abdulahi
, 
Afolayan A.A.

The Motivation and Integration of Immigrants in the Nigeria-Niger Border Area. A study of Magama-Jibia

Abdullahi Labo

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Introduction

  • 1 For a historical discussion of migration in West Africa see Abdullahi Mahadi, Migration, sedentari (...)

1Migration, which is the movement of people from one geographical location to another has remained at the centre of West African history for several centuries. Its centrality has been attributed to its role in influencing the characteristics, distribution and size of the population of the subregion.1

2A migrant can be described as a person who uproots himself from his original home and moves to a new place where he settles and establishes new links.

  • 2 P. George, Types of migration of the population according to the professional and social compensat (...)

3Geographical movements of population are generally divided into two categories. In one, the movement is impelled by religious or political considerations. In the other, population movement is caused by economic factors, such as the need for specific types of labour in another country.2 Once migrants have moved into a new area they are confronted by a new environment with its people, culture, economic and social organizations; and their chances of achieving success and settling down are largely dependent on the degree of their individual and collective interaction with the host communities.

  • 3 E.S. Lee, A theory of migration, pp. 282-297. In: Migration, J.A. Jackson, ed. (Cambridge Universi (...)
  • 4 S. Ricca, International Migration in Africa (International Labour Organization, Geneva, 1989).

4Although there are no exact figures ot the number of migrants who arrive at wide-ranging destinations throughout West Africa at different times, it is obvious that migration is on the increase, particularly as the absence of effective regulation has made it possible for migrants to criss-cross international borders in search of greener pastures. This is substantiated by Lee3 who in his nine laws on migration noted the escalation in the volume and accumulation rates of migrants in the absence of regulation. Thus, in West Africa a huge number of migrants move dally, largely for economic reasons, although individual motives may not necessarily be economic. Ricca4 has observed:

Underlying the migration movements commonly attributed to economic causes are a host of individual motivations, many of which remain to be discovered.

5This study looked at individual motivation with regard to resident immigrants in Magama-Jibia and observed the degree to which they had become integrated into the host community. It was considered important to look critically into the validity of the conventional notion that the immigrants were propelled to migrate by hunger and misery. Related to this was the importance of knowing how well immigrants became acculturated in their host community; or whether they simply imported their own culture and beliefs from their places of origin; and whether they participated fully in local formal and informal organizations. A brief summary of migration trends in the subregion follows.

Migration Trends in West Africa

  • 5 Abdullahi Mahdi, Migration, sedentarisation and urbanisation process in the is Central Sudan befor (...)

6During the last 20 000 years or so, the region called West Africa today has witnessed intense climatic changes which have had a negative impact on water availability and the overall stability of the region’s environment.5 An important corollary of this has been the continuous southward advancement of the Sahara desert, which is sucking dry the region’s flora and fauna and making life increasingly miserable for a large number of people. Throughout the subregion, mass population movements have been triggered by this natural phenomenon.

  • 6 Ricca, op cit.

7This type of population movement, prompted by the need for water and land for grazing was not the only type of movement in the West African area. Trade, conquest, natural disasters, and the slave trade were also very important factors that motivated migration in West Africa during the pre-colonial era. One common feature of these migrations, however, was that they were group phenomena with individual motivation playing little or no part.6

8The arrival of the colonial powers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, generated upheavals in the organization of the economy and society that changed the nature of migration in West Africa. The colonialists built development centres around mineral deposits and shifted the centre of gravity of economic activity from the hinterlands to the coastal regions, where new capitals were created to serve the economic interests of colonialism. The Europeans also introduced new crops such as cocoa and soya, which were grown for export to their own countries. Mines were exploited maximally by the metropolises. Ports were constructed, as well as roads and rallways to link the ports to the plantations and mines.

  • 7 ibid.

9Along with this wholesale restructuring of economic activity came a large-scale redistribution of the population as people moved all over the subregion in search of economic prosperity. There was, for example, a massive movement of Nigerians to the Gold Coast (Ghana) to participate as labourers and traders in the then booming gold economy. Some administrative bodies were set up to organize the transfer of labour. One such organization was the Inter-Occupational Union for the Transfer of Manpower from Upper Volta to the Ivory Coast (SIAMO) which was created by employers of labour and abolished only after independence in 1960.7

  • 8 D. Murdock, Africa: Its peoples and their culture history (McGraw Hill, New York, 1959).
  • 9 E. Hertslet, The Map of Africa by Treaty (Frank Cass, London, 1967).

10Migration in West Africa during the colonial period cannot, however, be attributed to economic factors alone. There were also climatic, political and administrative factors. For example, the seasonal nature of agricultural production enabled people to move to the coastal areas and neighbouring states during the dry season to earn enough to pay taxes, buy consumer items, seeds and farm tools.8 The colonial boundaries enabled people to travel the length and breadth of vast colonial empires without completing formalities. Movement across borders was also possible, and sometimes facilitated by agreements between the colonial powers, such as the one signed by France and Britain in 1905 enabling movement across borders between neighbouring countries under different colonial powers.9

  • 10 K.C. Zachariah and. J. Conde. Migration in West Africa: Demographic aspects (Oxford University Pre (...)

11Even today, after independence, the direction of migration has not deviated from the trend in the colonial period. This is largely because the colonial powers concentrated much of their efforts in modernizing certain countries, particularly their urban centres. The resulting uneven development generated the migratory flows we have today. With a few exceptions, rural areas are the main sources of migrant labour and urban centres the final destination - regardless of whether there is an international border between the point of departure and destination. Zachariah and Conde10 have pointed out that the annual net rates of migration into large urban areas with populations of more than 20 000, since independence in West Africa, have been.very high.

12Migrants are mainly attracted to areas with significant development indicators of economic prosperity. The dominance of the economic factor over the cultural element in influencing migration is very evident at present. For example, since the beginning of large oil exports in the early 1970s, Nigeria has experienced a mass influx of immigrants from all over West Africa and beyond. Similarly, Côte d’Ivoire, with its economic boom, has attracted workers from Burkina Faso and Niger for more than 30 years. Thus, modernization and economic achievement, as in most parts of the world, have clearly motivated migration in the subregion.

Theoretical Explanations for Migration

13A number of scholars have gone beyond mere pragmatic observation and have formulated theoretical models to explain the phenomenon of migration. The objective of these scholars was to understand the dynamics of migration and assist authorities to introduce better focussed policies to address the issues at stake. These theories have made no distinction between internal and international migration, as the existence of a border does nothing to explain the underlying causes.

Lewis, Fei and Ranis: The surplus rural manpower model

14Migration in the opinion of these scholars is engineered by the existence of excess rural manpower unable to secure adequate remunerative employment in agriculture. Such people seek employment in the manufacturing sector where investment appears to be most productive. Migration flows in the perspective of this model are, therefore, motivated by the prospect of higher wages, since the urban sector can always provide wages that appear attractive to underemployed rural workers but are low enough for the manufacturing sector to make enough profit to enable them to make further investments to attract more rural migrants. Migration is regarded by this model as positive and capable of stimulating economic growth and development.

  • 11 H. Luning, Economic Aspects of Low Labour Income Farming. Agricultural Research Report, No. 699 (C (...)

15Luning and Cleave have severely criticized this model on the basis of the results of studied practices in the agricultural sector and have insisted that rural underemployment is neither an average nor an abstract phenomenon11 They argued that rural workers are underemployed only after the harvest period and are fully employed during the rainy season. Their departure would, therefore, have a negative effect on agricultural production.

Harris-Todaro: The wage disparity model

  • 12 J. Harris, and M. Todaro, Migration, unemployment and development: A two-sector analysis. American (...)

16This model contests the claim that surplus rural manpower was the root cause of migration in Africa, arguing that these movements were really caused by the wide-ranging differential between rural and urban wages. Harris and Todaro12 however, insisted that such differences existed only in the perception of the rural worker and were not actual.

  • 13 J. Gaude, Causes and Repercussions of Migration: A critical analysis (International Labour Organiz (...)
  • 14 D. Byerlee, J.Tommy and H. Fatoo, Rural-Urban Migration in Sierra Leone: Determinants and policy i (...)

17Another important factor they pointed out was the expectation that employment would be available in urban centres. This again is in the perception of the would-be migrant and explains why rural-urban migration has persisted in spite of high unemployment rates in urban areas. They argued that migration would cease or drop considerably when rural workers change their perception of wage opportunities in urban centres or can no longer find employment in towns. The policy implication of this model is that migration should stop. Government should therefore initiate measures to bridge the development gap between rural and urban areas. Gaude13 criticized this model claiming that economic considerations are not the major motives for migration. Similarly, in their study of migration in Sierra Leone, Byerlee, Tommy and Fatoo14 maintain that the existence of a high unemployment rate in urban areas has no bearing on the individual’s decision to move.

Multi-sectoral analysis models

  • 15 Ricca, op cit.

18The two variables discussed above have been criticized for considering migration as a central phenomenon to be understood only in relation to employment and wages. Multi-sectoral models view migration as part of several other variables that attempt to establish links in a number of previously identified sectors of activity. Scholars such as Ricca,15 have analysed the manner in which different variables interact in three main sectors: a capital intensive non-agricultural sector, a labour intensive non- agricultural sector, and a labour intensive agricultural sector. They maintain that growth should be promoted in labour intensive sectors in order to develop rural employment and curtail migration.

The dependency model

  • 16 Samir Amin, Unequal Development. An essay on social formations of peripheral capitalism. Brian Pea (...)

19The dependency school generally rejects the conventional explanations for population movements. The phenomenon of migration is seen by them as irreducible to the consideration of a few economic variables nor can it be understood as arising out of individual or group motivation. Migration in the opinion of this school, therefore, should be seen as the result of unequal development imposed by developed countries of the world on the peripheral Third World states.16 This situation is maintained through a deliberate establishment and perpetuation of economic dependence.

20The exploitation and marginalization of the neo-colonial states occur through assigning them the role of producers of raw materials for the centre nation’s industries, over whose prices they have no control. Development is thus concentrated in the powerful industrialized nations. In these circumstances, migration from the underprivileged periphery to the privileged centres becomes inevitable. The phenomenon of migration, therefore, can only be reduced with profound changes in development policy for balanced economic development that addresses the interests of the majority of the people.

21The theories discussed above, though divergent and even conflicting, have contributed to an understanding of the migration phenomenon. Analysts and especially policy makers, would gain greater insight which would enable them grapple with the problem of migration and its implications.

Border Migration and the 1979 ECOWAS Protocol

22The frequency with which people move across the international borders in the West African subregion without official sanction has been a source of concern to the authorities. This is more so, since several hundred unofficial routes exist.

  • 17 K.M. Barbour. A geographical analysis of boundaries in inter-tropical Africa. In: Essays on Africa (...)

23In most cases, however, these large cross border movements are simply natural movements of persons belonging to the same ethnic group, separated by political borders which cut across the territories of homogenous populations. Neighbouring countries share one or more ethnic groups. For example, the Hausa are found in both Nigeria and Niger, the Yoruba in Benin and Nigeria, the Ewe in Ghana and Togo and the Brong in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. International borders in West Africa are reputed to cut across the territories of 100 different ethnic groups.17

24These movements have continued with little or no hindrance in spite of differences in ideology, membership of financial communities, and even conflict between states. The cohesion and solidarity among the people across these boundaries and the movements are still going on in spite of the arbitrary international borders drawn by the European powers in 1885 in Berlin. Hundreds of peasants move across international borders several times a day to and from their farms and to visit relations. The Emir of Maradi in Niger Republic is addressed as ‘Sarkin Katsina’ (i.e., Emir of Katsina) due to the historical connection between Maradi and Katsina in Nigeria. Traditional and modern border markets such as the ones at Jibia, Badagry, Idi-Iroko and Seme have attracted merchants from diverse origins, who flock to these markets regardless of government restrictions and regulations.

25Borders have, therefore, largely remained imaginary, with too few officials to control the movement of people. Immigration officials, particularly, if they are unfamiliar with the border area, have a lot of difficulty in differentiating between ‘travellers’ from neighbouring states and their own countrymen and women, since most of the migrants are of the same ethnic origin. This situation has continued to be of concern to national authorities, especially with regard to its implications for taxation, health, education, military service, household statistics and other aspects of public administration. It was fundamentally for this reason that regional economic/political groupings and communities were established to unite the subregion and regulate issues common to the states with the cross-border movement of people at the centre of such initiatives.

  • 18 Constitution of the International Labour Organization and Standing Orders of the International Lab (...)

26The several regional groupings in West Africa such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic Community (CEAO), have attempted to regulate the movement of people across international borders in the subregion as stipulated in the International Labour Organization Constitution.18 The 1979 ECOWAS Protocol is a case in point. The first article of the protocol illustrates this. The protocol entitles all citizens of the community to enter, reside, and settle in the territory of member states. A target of 15 years was set for this objective to be achieved and no distinction was made regarding the occupational status of potential migrants. Three distinct phases were established for the attainment of total freedom of movement without a visa and for the right to reside and settle as a community citizen in any country of choice. Briefly put, these phases are as follows:

Phase I. Citizens of member states were given the right to travel within the subregion without a visa for a period not exceeding 90 days. This was meant to facilitate the movement of business people, seasonal workers and tourists. Except where the host country gave approval, it excluded movement for regular and full time employment. This phase ended in 1984.

Phase II. This phase began in 1985. Under the phase, community citizens were entitled to the right to reside and engage in full remunerated employment. The tension created by the expulsion from Nigeria of about two million migrants from ECOWAS states almost halted the implementation of this phase. This tension, however, was resolved by the 16 heads of states of the community, and a supplementary protocol to Phase II was enacted.

Phase III. Initiated in July 1986, this protocol established the right of all citizens in the community to reside in any country for the purpose of seeking and carrying out income earning employment (article 2) and to be given a permit (card) acknowledging their right of residence.

27Apart from these provisions, the protocols also contained four articles which dealt with the expulsion of immigrants. From the contents of the articles, it is clear that expulsions could still take place but only under very strict conditions. Mass expulsions were prohibited and a number of guarantees prescribed for immigrants under an expulsion order such as the right of appeal, the reimbursement of travel costs and the right to retain acquired entitlements.

28From the foregoing it can be seen that authorities in West Africa were quite aware of the intensity of the ongoing cross- border migrations and the important part played by the historical origins of the movers. The cultural and religious similarities of the West African people have made it easier for migrants to integrate in host communities without necessarily going through formalities. The ECOWAS protocols are to all intents and purposes designed to facilitate the movement of migrants and prevent abuse. The implementation of this agreement, however, has been hampered by the lack of respect for its articles by both the migrants and state authorities within the community.

The Study Area

29This research was conducted in Magama-Jibia, a border town located next to the Nigeria-Niger border in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State. With a population of between 10 000 and 15 000, the town is mainly populated by the Hausa who are traditionally farmers, and traders. A cocktail of ethnic groups from other Nigerian areas and other West African states also exists. From Nigeria are the Ibo and the Yoruba who are mainly shopkeepers and mechanics. The ethnic immigrants from other parts of the subregion include the Hausa, Tuaregs, Zarma and Fulani.

30As the name suggests, Magama, which in Hausa means confluence, is indeed a settlement at a confluence of roads from Maradi (in Niger), Katsina, and Sokoto. Significant settlement started in the area between the late 1940s and the early 1950s, with the siting of the border post by the colonial administration. From then on, the town has grown in importance as an entry and exit point into and out of Nigeria. Both legal and illegal trade in local and smuggled goods have flourished in the area, during the past fifteen to twenty years due to the town’s location on the border. The income generated from all this trans-border activity has enabled people in the area and those from outside to invest in other types of trade, construction, motor vehicles, etc., thus making Magama a place of opportunities, far ahead of its peers in the local government area.

Figure 1. Jibia Local Government Area. Katsina State

The Research Methodology

31The data on which this study was based were gathered from two sources: (a) a questionnaire which was administered to 45 respondents, randomly selected from among the immigrants in Magama-Jibia in March 1999. The questions asked centred directly on what motivated the respondents to leave their original homes and move to Magama. In addition, they were asked who made the decision for the movement to commence and under what circumstances. Questions were also asked regarding their parti­cipation in the affairs of the host community and the extent to which they had integrated into the local population, (b) Infor­mation was also gathered from secondary materials consisting of published and unpublished materials, to support the primary data gathered.

32It is important, however, to point out here that the original plan was to interview 100 respondents, but the immigrants were suspicious of the intentions of the researchers in spite of repeated explanations. We therefore, ended up with 45 respondents which we still consider reasonable for this study.

33The data collected using the questionnaire was analysed in the form of frequency and percentage tables. The chi-square test was also employed to measure the relationships between the variables. The following hypotheses were tested in this study.

Hypothesis I: The motive for the movement of the immigrants in Magama-Jibia out of their countries was to escape from economic pressure and hardship which they could not bear.

Hypothesis II: The immigrants in Magama-Jibia had become integrated into the local host community through active participation in communal affairs.

Empirical Analysis

Basic characteristics of the immigrants

34Determining the characteristics of immigrants has been of great interest to international demographers. Periodic censuses have provided an avenue through which the basic characteristics of migrants can be ascertained in any given settlement. Unfortunately, in Nigeria and much of West Africa, very few population censuses do take place, and where they do, their reliability has always been suspect. Administrative records regarding births, deaths, and nationality are also extremely scanty or even non-existent in much of Nigeria.

35Most of the resident immigrants in Magama were able-bodied with the required energy to move out of their countries to pursue a wide range of activities (table 1).

Table 1. Age distribution of respondents

Table 1. Age distribution of respondents

36Of the respondents, 73.1 % fell within the 20-49 years age bracket, while only 16.4 % fell into the 50-89 age range, which indicates that migration is not common among the aged.

37The gender distribution showed that 80 % Were male and 20 % female. The reason for this lopsidedness in gender distribution is that in most cases, the men were the ones who moved first and left their spouses at home. Some of the men did go back home to bring their women to their new places of residence. With regard to the countries of origin of the people covered by this study, the largest number came from Niger. Table 2 shows their distribution.

38The geographical location of Magama-Jibia right on the Nigeria-Niger border has made it easily accessible to migrants from Niger. The existence of a major official route and several other unofficial pathways connecting Jibia with towns in Niger such as Dan Issa, Madaroumfa, Maradi and the hinterland of that country, where movement goes on without any serious check, means that virtually anyone wanting to move southwards into Magama or any other place in the border area can do so without hindrance. There were, however, few immigrants from other countries, perhaps because of distance and the language barrier.

Table 2. Immigrants’ countries of origin

Table 2. Immigrants’ countries of origin

39The ethnic origin of the immigrants is also an important variable in understanding their characteristics (table 3).

Table 3. Ethnic distribution of the immigrants

Table 3. Ethnic distribution of the immigrants

40How the ethnic factor influenced migration can be seen from the above distribution where the largest ethnic group among the immigrants (55.6 %) were Hausa from the neighbouring Niger Republic. If the Hausa (55.6 %), Fulani (8.9 %)and Zarma(4.4 %) all of whom are from Niger, are added together it becomes clear that it was most likely proximity that influenced the ethnic and nationality composition of the respondents.

Reasons for migration to Magama-Jibia

41Several motives were behind the movement of the immigrants out of their countries of origin (see table 4). This table indicates that the ‘work’ motive was behind most of the migrants’ decision to leave their home country. Thus, a person who was completely jobless could migrate in the hope of finding employment. Alternatively, a person with a good job in one place might move to another place in search of a better job with more pay.

Table 4. Motives for leavine home country

Table 4. Motives for leavine home country

42The majority (60 %) of the respondents left home to work outside their home countries. Of the others, 40 % left in search of knowledge. This has traditionally been a motive for migration in Nigeria and West Africa in general. Seekers of Islamic knowledge are well known for migrating to different places to consult learned sheikhs and many of them have ended up settling there permanently and have become part of the learned community. Those who gave political reasons for leaving home (6.7 %) did not disclose the nature of the political situation that had made it necessary for them to leave home. The two who said they had left because of an environmental crisis in their countries (4.4 %), however, mentioned the lack of adequate vegetation to feed animals and enough rainfall to farm.

43The women who migrated (20 %) had come to Magama to join their husbands. Even though only three of the women in the sample were full-time housewives and the others were engaged in one kind of work or another, their original reason for moving was to join their husbands.

44On who took the decision to migrate, the 45 respondents either took the decision themselves or were advised or influenced by others (table 5).

Table 5. Persons behind the decision to move

Table 5. Persons behind the decision to move

45The majority of the immigrants (67.7 %) were encouraged to migrate by friends, relations, parents or husbands. Only 15 respondents indicated that they took the decision to leave their countries by themselves and were uninfluenced by others. This is not surprising as life in a traditional setting is so structured that people do not live independently of each other but are bonded by relationships which could be familial, social or economic. They often feel bound to consider the opinions of others when taking important decisions.

46In considering the work motive that made 60 % of the respondents leave their home countries, it is interesting to note that for a majority of them the movement was not occasioned by joblessness as can be seen in table 6.

47As can be seen, many (91 %) were employed before moving, and the data does not support the conventional assumption that the immigrants were jobless back at home. Out of this 91 %, only the three full-time housewives (6.7 %) and one student (2.2 %) cannot be said to have been engaged in an active income generating occupation. Even then, these four did not regard themselves as jobless because they engaged occasionally in buying and selling of various items. The four who admitted to being unemployed at home did receive some income support from relations and friends and took occasional jobs that came their way.

48It can be seen from the table below that all the respondents indicated that they had some source of income at home.

49It is evident that a significant percentage of them had low incomes, even though only a few (13.3 %) felt so. The reasons most of them gave for departing from their countries were not necessarily connected with their income level. This was in spite of the fact that several of the immigrants had experienced some difficulties with their occupations at home.

Table 6. Occupations in countries of origin

Table 6. Occupations in countries of origin

Table 7. Annual income in countries of origin

Table 7. Annual income in countries of origin

Table 8. Problems encountered with occupation at home

Table 8. Problems encountered with occupation at home

50Thus, 39.9 % said that they had problems with their occupation at home because of poor market, poor rain, or even lack of raw materials as claimed by one of the two weavers interviewed. Most of the respondents (46.8 %), did not complain of any problems.

51Generally speaking, the immigrants in this study were not pushed out by economic hardship or desperation. They had simply left in search of better opportunities in the form of better incomes or to seek knowledge.

52Also from the data collected, it can be seen that, except in a few instances, the occupational pursuits of most of the respondents in Magama were related to the kind of job that they did at home (table 9). Some, however, ventured into new areas. Of the 24.4 % of the immigrants who indicated that they were active farmers before departure only 8.9 % continued to farm in Magama. Thus, in farming alone, 15.6 % of the respondents had changed their occupation. We also see that those immigrants who were unemployed at home had found jobs in Magama. With regard to the income level in Magama, the picture is encouraging. A significant improvement was observed, as shown in table 10. Many of the immigrants had moved up a bit on the income ladder, and those at the lowest income level (N 10 000 00) had reduced from 42.2 % to 28.9 %. The highest level earners (N 60 000+) increased by 100 %, i.e., from 6.7 % in the home countries to 13.3 % in Magama-Jibia.

Table 9. Occupations in Magama-Jibia

Table 9. Occupations in Magama-Jibia

Table 10. Annual income in Magama-Jibia

Table 10. Annual income in Magama-Jibia

53In summary, the reasons why immigrants moved to Magama varied. The majority moved to secure better jobs. Most of the immigrants remained in their original occupations with a significant percentage witnessing improvements in their incomes.

54The data, however, is not supportive of the first hypothesis that the immigrants left their countries to escape economic hardship. Rather, they are portrayed as fortune seekers but not economic desperados. This conclusion was also supported by several computer cross tabulations of the tested variables using the chi-square test. More than 90 % of these cross tabulations indicated the lack of a significant relationship between the reasons for the respondents’ movement to Magama and economic desperation.

Integration into the host community

55Studies on migration have paid much attention to the direction of movement and the characteristics of the persons involved in the movement. Scant attention has been paid to the behaviour of migrants and the social implications of migration. It is pertinent, therefore, to look at the degree to which migrants become participants in the activities of their host communities and whether at all they consider themselves part of these communities.

56From the information gathered for this study, there is evidence of a high degree of interaction between the immigrants and local people in Magama. This interaction has reached such a level that some of the immigrants might even be mistaken to be natives of the community. When asked whether they interacted closely with the local people in various respects, 93.3 % of them answered in the affirmative. Only 6.7 % of them replied in the negative.

Table 11. Forms of interaction with the local community

Table 11. Forms of interaction with the local community

57It is obvious that nearly all of the respondents were involved in one form or the other with the local community members. Job interaction and social involvement came first with nearly 29 % each, which is not surprising since these two are a major part of daily life. People work and then socialize and come into contact with various individuals and groups of people. Business dealings which occur occasionally and when compared with the latter were rated separately. Cultural and religious activities came last on the interaction scale.

58With regard to having a sense of belonging in the community, 82.2 % of the immigrants interviewed believed that they were part and parcel of the Magama-Jibia community; 11.1 % answered negatively, whilst 6.7 % were not sure whether or not they belonged to Magama. It was evident that those who had stayed much longer in the community were the ones with a deeper sense of belonging.

59Different kinds of involvement with members of the local community had generated a sense of belonging in the resident immigrants in Magama-Jibia. As their stay lengthened they became more involved in community affairs. A large proportion of these immigrants belonged to all sorts of friendship networks with the local people. Many belonged to different Majalisas (assembly of friends) and had in the process become close friends with several indigenes. In this respect, they participated actively in marriage and naming ceremonies, and funeral rites.

Table 12. Types of involvement that generated a sense of belonging

Table 12. Types of involvement that generated a sense of belonging

60Mutual assistance (21.6 %) and donations (24.3 %) were often given to facilitate community efforts. Close interaction has not only generated a sense of belonging but also a sense of concern between the immigrants and the locals. Mutual assistance in terms of money, gifts of items in times of need, complementary labour in house building/repairs, etc., were widespread. Donations of cash to community members were on the increase. Of the respondents in this category, 16.2 % believed that they belonged to the Magama-Jibia community like any indigene because each of them owned a house in the place. They believe that house- ownership signified a major commitment to the community and engendered a sense of belonging in them. These levels of interaction and involvement into local affairs have made many of the immigrants integrate fully into this community.

61Membership of community associations by the immigrants has served to cernent the interaction between them and the local people to the extent that the settlers have become integrated locally. Thus, when asked whether they belonged to community associations in Magama-Jibia - such as clubs, development groups, and occupational associations – 34 % or 75.6 % answered in the affirmative and only 11 or 24.4 % answered in the negative. On what their objectives were for belonging to such associations, tables 13a and 13b provide a breakdown of the two sets of responses.

Table 13a. Objectives for belonging to a community association

Table 13a. Objectives for belonging to a community association

Table 13b. Reason for not belonging to any association

Table 13b. Reason for not belonging to any association

62Those who belonged to community associations were in the majority (see table 13) and had joined either to participate in community development (50 %) or to promote their own welfare (38.2 %). Participation in development efforts is one of the major indicators of integration into a host community. Indigenes also joined community associations to demonstrate their sense of belonging and local patriotism. Those who joined to increase their own job prospects were also treading the path of integration as most community associations are fundamentally welfare oriented. Most of them have provisions to assist members whenever they become vulnerable or need help to execute family events related to marriage, birth, death, etc. Those immigrants who joined simply to belong or to promote their jobs (11.6 %) had not been long in the area and became members as a fast move to show their solidarity and to use the opportunity to promote their occupations and receive patronage.

63The immigrants who had not joined any association were largely restrained from doing so by their employers who felt that membership would distract them from concentrating on their jobs. Approximately 45 % gave no reason for not belonging to any association.

64With regard to participation in formal civic activities, the respondents were asked whether they voted in the December 1998 local government, January 1999 governorship, and 27th February, 1999 Presidential elections. Anoverwhelming majority of 73.3 % answered that they had. This incredible level of participation occurred in spite of the fact that none of them had acquired citizenship or even registered legally with the relevant authorities for permission to stay in the country.

65Thus, the data collected for this study and presented above have verified and supported our second hypothesis that the immigrants in Magama-Jibia have become integrated into the host community. all the variables tested have supported this hypothesis.

Summary and Conclusion

66The movement of people across the international borders of West Africa continues largely unhindered. Immigrants cross the borders on a daily basis, cutting across historical communities with little or no regard for formalities. These movements have been prompted by a wide variety of motives, the economic motive being predominant. Most of the immigrants in Magama-Jibia, from the available evidence, did not move out of their home countries as a result of economic desperation, but left in search of both economic and non-economic opportunities. In the process, most of them had become acculturated and integrated into the local community.

67These migrations, therefore, from all indications are likely to continue and to become more intensive as regional integration in West Africa is institutionalized. West African community members should, therefore, be sensitive and responsible in dealing with these movements. Restrictions and bureaucratic delays need to be relaxed when implementing ECOWAS provisions, as the motivation of the immigrants is not incompatible with ECOWAS policies. Integration should also be promoted, albeit with proper documentation.

Bibliographie

References

Amin, Samir. 1976. Unequal Development. An’essay on social formations of peripheral capitalism. Brian Pearce, trans. Monthly Review Press, New York.

Barbour, K.M. 1961. A geographical analysis of boundaries in inter-tropical Africa. In: Essays on African Population. K.M. Barbour and R.M. Prothero, eds. Routledge and Kegan Paul, London.

Byerlee, D., J. Tommy and H. Fatoo. 1976. Rural-Urban Migration in Sierra Leone: Determinants and policy implications. African Rural Employment Paper No. 9, Michigan State University.

Cleave, J. 1970. Labour in the Development of African Agriculture. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.

Gaude, J. 1976. Causes and Repercussions of Migration: A critical analysis. International Labour Organization, Geneva.

George, P. 1970. Types of migration of the population according to the professional and social composition of migrants. In: Readings in the Sociology of Migration. C.J. Jansen, ed. Pergamon Press.

Harris, J. and M. Todaro. 1970. Migration, unemployment and development: A two-sector analysis. American Economic Review (March): 126-142.

Hertslet, E. 1967. The Map of Africa by Treaty. Frank Cass, London.

ILO. 1986. Constitution of the International Labour Organization and Standing Orders of the International Labour Conference. Geneva, 1986.

Lee, E.S. 1969. A theory of migration. In: Migration. J.A. Jackson, ed. Cambridge University Press, pp. 282-297.

Luning, H. 1967. Economic Aspects of Low Labour Income Farming. Agricultural Research Report No. 699. CAPDU, Wegeningen.

Mahdi, Abdullahi, 1987. Migration, sedentarisation and urbanisation process in the Central Sudan before C.1800 AD. Paper delivered at the 2nd International Workshop of the societé de Demographie Historique, Paris, France, 4-6 June.

Murdock, D. 1959. Africa: Its peoples and their culture history. McGraw Hill, New York.

Ricca, S. 1989. International Migration in Africa. International Labour Organization, Geneva.

Zachariah, K.C. and J. Conde. 1981. Migration in West Africa: Demographic aspects. Oxford University Press for The World Bank.

Notes

1 For a historical discussion of migration in West Africa see Abdullahi Mahadi, Migration, sedentarisation and urbanisation process in the Central Sudan before c.1800 AD. Paper presented at the 2nd International Workshop of the Societe de Demographie Historique, Paris, France (4-6 .June, 1987).

2 P. George, Types of migration of the population according to the professional and social compensation of migrants. In: Readings in the Sociology of Migration, C.J. Jansen, ed. (Pergamon Press, 1970).

3 E.S. Lee, A theory of migration, pp. 282-297. In: Migration, J.A. Jackson, ed. (Cambridge University Press, 1969).

4 S. Ricca, International Migration in Africa (International Labour Organization, Geneva, 1989).

5 Abdullahi Mahdi, Migration, sedentarisation and urbanisation process in the is Central Sudan before C.1800 AD. Paper delivered at the 2nd International Workshop of the societe de Demographie Historique, Paris, France (4-6 June, 1987).

6 Ricca, op cit.

7 ibid.

8 D. Murdock, Africa: Its peoples and their culture history (McGraw Hill, New York, 1959).

9 E. Hertslet, The Map of Africa by Treaty (Frank Cass, London, 1967).

10 K.C. Zachariah and. J. Conde. Migration in West Africa: Demographic aspects (Oxford University Press, for The World Bank, Washington, D.C., 1981).

11 H. Luning, Economic Aspects of Low Labour Income Farming. Agricultural Research Report, No. 699 (CAPDU, Wegeningen, 1967); J.Cleave, Labour in the Development of African Agriculture (Stanford University Press, Stanford, California, 1970).

12 J. Harris, and M. Todaro, Migration, unemployment and development: A two-sector analysis. American Economic Review (March, 1970): 126-142.

13 J. Gaude, Causes and Repercussions of Migration: A critical analysis (International Labour Organization, Geneva, 1976).

14 D. Byerlee, J.Tommy and H. Fatoo, Rural-Urban Migration in Sierra Leone: Determinants and policy implication., African Rural Employment Paper No. 9 (Michigan State University, 1976).

15 Ricca, op cit.

16 Samir Amin, Unequal Development. An essay on social formations of peripheral capitalism. Brian Pearce. trans (Monthly Review Press. New York. 1976).

17 K.M. Barbour. A geographical analysis of boundaries in inter-tropical Africa. In: Essays on African Population. K.M. Barbour and R.M. Prothero, eds. (Routledge and Kegan Paul. London, 1961).

18 Constitution of the International Labour Organization and Standing Orders of the International Labour Conference (ILO, Geneva, 1986).

Table des illustrations

Légende Figure 1. Jibia Local Government Area. Katsina State
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-1.jpg
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Titre Table 1. Age distribution of respondents
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-2.jpg
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Titre Table 2. Immigrants’ countries of origin
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-3.jpg
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Titre Table 3. Ethnic distribution of the immigrants
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-4.jpg
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Titre Table 4. Motives for leavine home country
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-5.jpg
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Titre Table 5. Persons behind the decision to move
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-6.jpg
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Titre Table 6. Occupations in countries of origin
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-7.jpg
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Titre Table 7. Annual income in countries of origin
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-8.jpg
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Titre Table 8. Problems encountered with occupation at home
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-9.jpg
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Titre Table 9. Occupations in Magama-Jibia
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 150k
Titre Table 10. Annual income in Magama-Jibia
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 89k
Titre Table 11. Forms of interaction with the local community
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-12.jpg
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Titre Table 12. Types of involvement that generated a sense of belonging
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-13.jpg
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Titre Table 13a. Objectives for belonging to a community association
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 81k
Titre Table 13b. Reason for not belonging to any association
URL http://books.openedition.org/ifra/docannexe/image/971/img-15.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 64k

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