The Department is charged with the responsibility of initiating and implementing the employment and wages polices of the Federal Government of Nigeria and has the following functions:
i. Formulation and implementation of employment policies.
ii. Registration and placement of unemployed applicants through:
Employment Exchanges.
Professional and Executive Registries.
National Electronic Labour Exchange.
iii. Coordination of Decent Work Country Programme.
iv. Wages administration through
Wages Monitoring.
Processing of Collective Agreements.
v. Issuance of Recruiter’s Licenses.
vi. Labour migration management.
vii. Initiating and implementing programmes on active aging
viii. Oversight functions over National Directorate of Employment.
Structure Of The Department
The department is structured into two divisions namely:
Employment Services and
National Electronic labour Exchange and International Labour Migration.

Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP)
Decent work is work which is productive and delivers a fair income, security in the work place and special protection for families, better prospects for personal development and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns, organize and participate in the decisions that affect their lives and equality of opportunity and treatment for all women and men. With the technical and financial support of International Labour Organization (ILO) the Department backstopped a workshop that developed Nigeria’s priority areas for DWCP 2. The priority areas are:
National Investment, Policies and Programmes lead to employment and Wealth Creation, Job-Rich Growth and Income.
Enhancing and Extending the Scope of Social protection.
Strengthening the capacity of ILO constituents for Effective Social Dialogue and Tripartism.

Employment Policies
The objective of the policy is to promote the goal of full employment as a priority in national, economic and social policy, and to enable all men and women who are available and willing to work, to attain secured and sustainable livelihood through full, productive and freely chosen employment and work. Given the multi-sectoral nature of employment promotion, the policy spells out the roles of different MDAs in achieving the goal of full employment.
Employment and Wages Department serves as the secretariat to the National Employment Council (NEC) established by the National Employment Policy. The role of the Ministry through the NEC is to effectively coordinate employment generating initiatives of all MDAs so as to ensure efficiency in use of scarce resource as well as reduce duplication of efforts.
Recruiter’s Licence/Employer’s Permit
The Ministry is empowered by section 23, 25 and 71 of the labour Act Cap 198 LFN 1990 to license fit and proper persons to operate as Labour Contractors and Private Employment Agencies. The issuance of Recruiter’s Licence and Employers’ Permit has regulated the multiple levels at which recruitment of workers into employment takes place and enables the government keep a close watch on the activities of Labour Contractors and Private Employment Agencies. One new area this procedure has impacted on is the untoward way in which some of the Private Employment Agencies have operated particularly in the oil and gas sector where the phenomenon of unfair labour practices especially as it relates to casualization and contract employment have become endemic and major causes of industrial dispute. With the licensing programme, it is now possible to sanitize the industry, clamp down on advertisers of non-existent vacancies and minimize incidences of labour trafficking for exploitative and other purposes.
National Electronic Labour Exchange And International Labour Migration
The ministry has a network of 37 Employment Exchanges located in all the states of the federation and the FCT. The Employment Exchanges perform the following functions:
Registration of job seekers.
Canvassing for vacancies
Placement of registered applicants in suitable employment
Collection and analysis of employment statistics
Vocational career guidance and counseling development of occupational monographs and National Classification of occupations.
Labour market reviews and trends.
Potential employers list.
Development of IEC materials.
Network between the social partners.

Over the years, registration of job seekers was done manually. However, in the ministry’s determine effort to minimize challenges faced by job seekers, facilitate job placement and drastically reduce time and resources spent in job search, the Ministry established the National Electronic Labour exchange (NELEX) – an electronic platform that enables jobseekers and employers meet online. It provides a national resume search engine that matches labour demand and labour supply. It is intended to be a one-stop-shop that provides advance, comprehensive and integrated technology that allows job seekers, employers and other stakeholder’s access employment services and labour market information. The NELEX web portal will be used to generate and analyze labour market information in addition to registration and placement of applicants, notification of vacancies by employers as well as providing information on the Ministry’s interventions in achieving national employment goals.
The website is accessible at the following web addresses:, and
International Labour Migration Desk
The Ministry has put in place a Labour Migration Desk to address the associated problems with the movement of skilled and unskilled,d persons within and outside countries. The desk seeks to ensure and create employment opportunities for Nigerians to work legally abroad, without fear of molestation, exploitation, any form of inhuman treatment or being subjected to unfair labour practices. In January 2008, International Organization on migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Ministry commenced the AENEAS 2006 Programme/Project on “Facilitating a Coherent Migration management approach in Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Libya by promoting Label Migration and preventing further Irregular Migration.” The Project has had positive impact on labour migration management in the country. It has assisted the Labour Migration Desk identify and carry along relevant stakeholders in labour migration management and to develop a draft Labour Migration Policy for the country.