Numerous local and international efforts are being made in policies, practices and cooperation to ensure person-centered and rights-based approaches to migrants of all kinds, while maintaining the sovereignty of states and their authority to protect their borders and determine their own laws. Diverse stakeholders play key roles in these efforts both globally and locally. The academia plays a significant role in this effort, providing the conceptual and theoretical interrogation and articulation in policy development and formulation; implementation, analysis and review as well as other community services responding to the migration dynamics and the mandates of the university system.
In Nigeria, government agencies, civil society organizations, international agencies and organizations have been collaborating in the development of frameworks for the understanding and management of migration issues and problems. However, it would seem that the academia has not been very active in this committee of stakeholders contributing to the migration discourse and governance. The near absence of the academia in this collaboration has resulted in the increasing demand for intellectual involvement and conceptual rigour in the articulation of policies and responses to the dynamics of migration and displacement as they affect the country.
The Centre for Migration Studies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (CMS-NAU) is the first of its kind in Nigeria established within a University with a comprehensive focus on the study and research of the gamut of migration issues; internal displacement or forced migration, local and international migration, refugees and asylum seekers, regular and irregular migration, brain drain, brain gain, brain circulation, remittances, return and reintegration, migration and development, etc.
Created by the Senate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University and commissioned on 28 th August, 2018 by the Honourable Federal Commissioner for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), the Centre assumes a leading role in articulating and projecting the contribution of Nigerian academics and researchers to the national migration discourse. The Centre perceives clearly that it will grow by developing and maintaining robust collaboration with kindred Centres in the African region and other parts of the world as well as by partnering with the relevant governmental agencies and local and international organizations concerned with migration.