Trans-Border Studies

Trans-Border Studies




This report is a pilot study - a fuller picture will emerge after more data shall have been collected, analysed and explained. Borders are artificially constructed, geographic or astronomic lines that form the boundary of a nation. Within this delimited boundary, a nation exercises power and jurisdiction and carries out its activities. In accordance with the sovereignty of the State, the central government can curtail, restrict or totally ban the unauthorized movement of goods and people across such lines. Borderlands are defined as extending beyond the delimited border, covering an area that marks a nation's sphere of influence. Hanse (1981) describes it as 'the sub-national areas whose economic and social life is directly and significantly affected by proximity to an international boundary'. Contiguous countries have closely linked borderlands separated by an international boundary. The three operational terms used in the study are border, movement and trading. The last two are essential to our understanding of the processes that make a border - not an imaginary, artificial line that divides, but a link or a bridge spanning border areas of adjoining countries.



Published by
Published 27 June 2013
Reads 7
EAN13 9791092312119
License: All rights reserved
Language English
Document size 1 MB

Legal information: rental price per page €. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

Report a problem

Trans-Border Studies

The Motivation and Integration of Immigrations in the Nigeria-Niger Border Area/ Transborder Movement and Trading. A Case Study of a Borderland in Southwestern

Labo Abdulahi and Afolayan A.A.
  • Publisher : Institut français de recherche en Afrique
  • Year of publication : 2000
  • Published on OpenEdition Books : 27 June 2013
  • Serie : Afriques transnationales
  • Electronic ISBN : 9791092312119

OpenEdition Books

Electronic reference:

ABDULAHI, Labo ; AFOLAYAN A.A. Trans-Border Studies: The Motivation and Integration of Immigrations in the Nigeria-Niger Border Area/ Transborder Movement and Trading. A Case Study of a Borderland in Southwestern. New edition [online]. Ibadan: Institut français de recherche en Afrique, 2000 (generated 17 December 2013). Available on the Internet: <>. ISBN: 9791092312119.

Printed version:
  • ISBN : 9789782015716
  • Number of pages : iii-96

© Institut français de recherche en Afrique, 2000

Terms of use:

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

    Abdullahi Labo
    1. Introduction
    2. Migration Trends in West Africa
    3. Theoretical Explanations for Migration
    4. Border Migration and the 1979 ECOWAS Protocol
    5. The Study Area
    6. The Research Methodology
    7. Empirical Analysis
    8. Summary and Conclusion
  2. Trans-Border Movement and Trading. A case study of a borderland in southwestern Nigeria

    A.A. Afolayan
    1. Introduction
    2. Research Design and Implementation
    3. The Study Area
    4. Development of Infrastructure and Economy
    5. Trans-border Movement
    6. Trans-border Trading
    7. Extrapolation of findings
    8. Summary
    9. Conclusion
  3. Acknowledgements

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

Abdullahi Labo


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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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...