The Centre for Migration Studies (CMS), Nnamdi Azikiwe University (Unizik), Awka, on Tuesday inaugurated Master’s Degree Programmes on Migration to address issues on migration management and governance in the country.
The Vice-Chancellor, Unizik, Charles Esimone, at the presentation of the programme in Abuja, said that migration had become an increasingly important factor in the economic and socio-political policies of the government.
Represented by the former Vice-Chancellor, Unizik, Joseph Ahaneku, Mr Esimone said the university decided to set up the centre in order to respond from the academic perspective to the local and global challenges and potential thrown up by migration.
He added that governments and civil society organisations rely on migration studies to provide data for planning at the national, regional and global levels.
“It is today an important factor in the distribution of populations, the supply of skilled and unskilled manpower, development of industries and commerce for both home and destination countries.’’
He, however, noted that migration could be triggered by social, cultural, economic and political factors or a combination of these.
According to him, migration involves the more or less permanent movement of individuals or groups across symbolic or political boundaries into new residential areas or communities.
Mr Esimone, therefore, solicited further collaboration and support from relevant stakeholders through scholarships for candidates interested in undertaking postgraduate course in migration studies centre.
He said the centre will facilitate exchanges with foreign universities and centres to make its programmes internationally competitive.
In her remark, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, commended the management of Unizik for presenting such programmes, saying that illegal migration is fast on the increase.
Represented by Mfawa Usani, Chief Social Welfare Officer of the ministry, Ms Umar-Farouq said the rate of internal migration in the country was skyrocketing.
She said that there has been high rate of inter-state migration by young able-bodied men in search of better opportunities and greener pastures.
“This has led to a great boost in the economic activities in the source centres, especially the rural areas. This inevitably leads to uneven development.’’
She assured the centre of the government’s continued commitment to give more attention to migration management as evidence by the creation of the Humanitarian Ministry.
Similarly, the Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons, Basheeru Mohammed, said the introduction of the studies was a giant stride toward the realisation of the commission’s aspiration.
Represented by Charles Anaelo, Coordinator, Technical Working Group of the Commission, Mohammed assured the commission of continued collaboration in any possible areas toward the actualisation of the project.