OSERE, CYRIL N. & DR. OKONNY, UMOH A.
Migrant fishermen constitute a large population of people living in Nigeria. They occupy mainly
the Atlantic and river basin areas in such states as Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Kogi, Edo, Akwa
Ibom, Cross Rivers, Bayelsa and Rivers States respectively. Their terrain and occupation marks
them out for a unique education and special attention. It is based on the above background, that the
paper is targeted at identifying the development of migrant fishermen education in Rivers State.
The paper specifically examined the conceptual clarification of education of migrant
fishermen, objective curriculum, challenges and efforts at migrant fishermen education in Rivers
state. It recommended amongst others that Rivers state government should sponsor the training
ofteachersto teach themigrantfishermen schools.
Education is aptly acknowledged as a right of all. Thus, no one individual should be
denied or deprived of this right under whatever circumstance. Migrant fishermen by
circumstance of their occupational location move from one geographical location to another in
search of livelihood (fishing). Migrant fishermen by virtue of their itinerant, migratory and
transient residency in particular locations fall under the generic umbrella of nomads, at least to an
extent. Migrant fishermen form a discernible category of nomads while the nomadic pastoralists
are the others.
In Nigeria, migrant fishermen occupy mainly the Atlantic Coastal and river basin areas in
such states as Lagos, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers and
Bayelsa states respectively. It was reported by the Sustainable Fisheries Livelihoods Programme
(SFLP) in 2002 as cited in Fregene (2017) that over six million (6m) artisanal fisher folks fishing
in 46,300km2 of inland water bodies are in Nigeria. The geographical terrain of the riverine areas
inhabited by these migrant fishermen are mostly swampy and marshy, hence the inhabitants
suffer series of harsh weather conditions and other encumbrances. The remote and usually
inaccessible habitation of the migrant fishermen coupled with the conditions associated by their
migratory lifestyles have placed them in disadvantaged positions when it comes to accessibility
and provision of educational opportunities.
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