On 15th October, the Centre for Migration Studies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University formally presented her Master’s Degree Programmes for Migration Studies to stakeholders of Nigerian Migration Management and Governance at Abuja.

Identifying Migration as an increasingly important factor in the economic and socio-political policies of government, Nnamdi Azikiwe University recently established the Centre for Migration Studies (CMS-NAU); the first in the Nigerian University system in a bid to respond through the academic lens to the local and global potentials and challenges of migration.

Declaring the presentation open, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Rasheed who was represented by the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of UNIZIK, Professor Joseph Ahaneku FAS, described the issue of Migration as one that has continued to generate concern locally and globally. Commending the University for taking the bold step in developing framework for the CMS, Professor Rasheed urged stakeholders in the Migration Management to identify ways to partner with the University, maintaining that the core essence of institutions of learning such as UNIZIK is identifying
solutions to problems bedeviling the society.

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Charles Esimone, FAS averred that migration is a world-wide phenomenom and could be triggered by social, economic and political factors or a combination of these. Prof. Esimone who equally had Professor Ahaneku as his Representative, noted that most countries of the world are caught in Migration matrix as home, transit or destination countries, throwing up many challenges particularly the need to improve and protect the rights of vulnerable migrants. He disclosed that in the light of these concerns, the University deemed it pertinent to establish the Centre to respond to these concerns from the academic angle. He commended the contributions of persons and institutions that are supporting the development of the Centre. He solicited further collaboration and support from stakeholders through scholarships for candidates interested in undertaking Postgraduate programmes in Migration Studies at the Centre, sponsorships for other projects and programs of the Centre as well as facilitating exchanges with foreign Universities and Centres to make the programmes of the Centre internationally competitive.
Presenting the programmes to the stakeholders, the Director of the Centre, Professor Ike Odimegwu disclosed the aim of the Centre as providing knowledge-based foundation and framework for the understanding, management and governance of migration in Nigeria and the world at large. Professor Odimegwu listed the Master’s programmes to include Master of Arts in Migration Studies (MA), Master of Science in Migration Studies (MSc) and Master of Migration Studies (MMS). According to him, the MA and MSc are academic degrees whose duration is 18 months for those who desire to proceed to PhD in Migration Studies while the MMS is a professional degree with 12 months duration for policy makers and implementers, civil society
actors and other operators in the field of migration.

In his words, “The CMS-NAU Executive degrees are designed to serve the theoretical, practical and certification demands of academics, policy makers and implementers and actors in the field of Migrations”.

Emphasizing the collaboration policy of the Centre, the Director declared: “CMS-NAU was born in collaboration and has grown in collaboration. Currently, the Centre is at various levels of development of collaboration with the following organizations and agencies: National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI); Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Civil Society Organization Network on Migration and Development (CSOnetMADE); International Organization for Migration (IOM); National Population Commission (NPopC); Pan-African Collaboration for Excellence (PACE), University of Alberta, Canada; The GIZ, Program Migration for Development (PMD) and the Embassy of Switzerland,

Other highlights of the Centre’s profile include the faculty, the innovative teaching methodology and the dynamic learning platforms: "Our highly motivated team of professors drawn from over nine faculties and universities across four continents, experienced technocrats and migration field experts is enthusiastic to make learning experience at CMS-NAU productive.” "The teaching methodology and learning platforms are holistically student-centred, conversational and anchored on flexibility to provide for the busy schedules of chief executives and professionals. The delivery and learning platforms are super-dynamic and interactive with a focus on the student’s career challenges and professional excellence", Professor Odimegwu

Present at the occasion include the Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Libya and ECOWAS, His Excellency Georg Steiner; the Comptroller General, Nigerian Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede who was represented by N. E Graham; the National Coordinator, CSOnetMADE, Rev. Fr. Dr. Emeka Xrys Obiezu; the Chief of Mission, International Organization for Migration, Mr. Celestin Frantz represented by Mr. Henry Akwitti and the Honourable Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and
IDPs represented by Mr. Charles Nwanelo.

Other dignitaries include the Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq represented by Mfawa Usani; Honourable Minister of Labour and Productivity, Sen. Dr. Chris Ngige represented by Dr. Sunday Onazi; Dr. Austin Ezejiofor from GIZ German office for Migration and Development; the Director General of NAPTIP represented by Ayeni Olalekan Yusuf; the Executive Chairman, Nigeria in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa represented by Mrs. Oluwatoyin Adeosu, among others.

Watch the live stream video below: