On 28th August 2021, the Centre for Migration Studies, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, (CMS-NAU) celebrated the third anniversary of her debut as the first Migration Centre in a Nigerian University. Established by the Senate of Nnamdi Azikiwe University and officially opened by the Honourable Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) on 28th August 2018, CMS-NAU invited her staff, friends, collaborators and the University community to celebrate with her on her 3rd birthday. The event was marked with tree planting, a tour of facilities, demonstration lecture, roundtable symposium, speeches and performances. Dignitaries at the event include the Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Charles O. Esimone FAS, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, Prof. Joseph Ikechebelu; the Director, CMS-NAU, Prof. Ike Odimegwu; Provost, College of Postgraduate Studies, Prof Philomena K. Igbokwe, represented by the Associate Provost, Humanities, Prof Emmanuel O. C. Obidimma; the Comptroller, Nigeria Immigration Service, Anambra State Command, Mr. A.D. Eche; National Coordinator, CSOnetMADE, Dr Emeka Xris Obiezu; Director, Centre for Arts, Culture and Humanities, Prof. Tracie Utoh-Ezeajugh; Director, Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme, Prof. Dennis Aribodor; Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. Nkiru Meludu, other professors, lecturers and staff of the Centre and the University, members of Civil Society, the Media and the students of the Centre.
The major highlights:
Planting of anniversary tree: Three-anniversary trees were planted: The first by the Vice-Chancellor, the second a representative of the CSOs and the third by the Provost College of Postgraduate Studies.
Tour of the Centre’s virtual lecture studio and other research facilities: The Director led the dignitaries and other guests on a tour of the facilities of the Centre. At the virtual lecture studio, one of the lecturers of the Centre, Dr Uju Ezenekwe thrilled the guests in a demonstration lecture that involved some students from remote locations interacting with the lecturer and the guests in the studio.
Welcome address by the Director CMS-NAU Prof Ike Odimegwu: The Director welcomed all the partners present and reiterated the fact that the place of CMS-NAU as the first Centre of migration studies in the Nigerian University System imposes on it the responsibility of a primal place of migration research, learning and advocacy. He informed the guests that indeed the first set of master’s students has finished the first semester examinations. He further noted that the Centre has been sustained and managed to stay focus on its mandates these three years through the support of the university authority, and through collaborations with governmental and non-governmental agencies.
Vice Chancellor’s Address: The Vice-Chancellor welcomed all present and appreciated the key players working tirelessly to ensure that the three mandates of the CMS-NAU were sustained since the inception. He located the Centre in the vision of the University and lauded the contribution of the Centre to the Project 200 vision of the current Administration. He envisioned that the Centre will develop beyond the dreams of the initiators to be a global leader in migration education and scholarship.
A roundtable symposium on the theme; “Strategic Partnership for Effective Migration Management in Nigeria” was moderated by Dr Emeka Obiezu. During the discussion, all the stakeholders agreed that Partnership and collaboration are the most important keys to success in local and global migration management.
Toast and Performance: Prof Tracie Uto-Ezeajugh, proposed the toast, for sustenance and more exploits for the Centre until it becomes a global player in migration education, research and advocacy. Post the toast, another toast of captivating drama by De Happening Theatre and enthralling folk songs by Kristi-Harris Family Singers made the event a memorable one.
Vote of thanks: The Deputy Director, Centre for Migration Studies, Dr Chidozie Nwafor, appreciated the Vice-chancellor and all the migration stakeholders that participated in the occasion.
And all went joyfully away! What a Day! What a Centre! CMS-NAU: The Migration Learning Place!