On the 4th of May, 2019, a Delegation of the Centre for Migration Studies Nnamdi Azikiwe University (CMS-NAU), led by the Director of the Centre, Prof. Ike Odimegwu, was warmly received in a meeting in Lagos with a Visiting Team of the Swiss Federal Commission on Migration (FCM) led by the President of the Commission, Prof. Walter Leimgruber. Other members of the Commission present at the meeting were the Vice-President, Fiammetta Jahreiss-Montagnani, Prof. Andrea Lanfranchi, Ines Mateos, Simon Rothlisberger, Iris Seidler-Garot, Sibylle Siegwart, Pascale Steiner and the Embassy Programme Officer, Ojoma Ali.
The meeting was a follow-up on an earlier meeting between CMS-NAU and the Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Libya and ECOWAS, His Excellency, Georg Steiner on March 12, 2019 at the Embassy office at Abuja.
The President of the FCM, Walter Leimgruber welcomed the CMS-NAU team, introduced the other members of his Commission and highlighted the mandate and activities of the FCM. He concluded his presentation expressing the desire of his team to know more about the programs and activities of CMS-NAU.
The leader of CMS-NAU Ike Odimegwu thanked the President of the FCM for the opportunity of the meeting. Thereafter, he introduced the other members of CMS-NAU team, Dr. Emeka Xris Obiezu and Dr. Chidozie Nwafor. He further highlighted the philosophy, background, vision, mission, aim, objectives, strides and activities of the Centre as well as opportunities for collaboration.
The meeting discussed the presentations focusing on the activities of the Centre such as: research, teaching/academic programmes of the Centre, faculty and students of the Centre, sources of funding for research/academic programmes, human resource to sustain the academic programmes, different types of advocacy programmes the Centre can handle and the possibility that the advocacy and intervention will promote regular migration while discouraging irregular migration.
Recommendations and conclusions:
The meeting ended with a number of far reaching conclusions and recommendations:
1. The FCM team was impressed that the CMS-NAU has a great potential for actualizing the set mandates and activities;
2. Upon request from the FCM Team for areas of current priority, the CMS-NAU Team noted that the two current priorities of the Centre are:
a. Postgraduate Programs: The Masters’ programmes in Migration Studies. Here, two levels of collaboration and support are vital: 1) Partnership for human resources and, 2) Scholarship for students of the programme;
b. Research: “Survey of Nigerian returned migrants’ experiences, the sustainability of the current return and reintegration programme as well as the impact of the program on the overall national migration management.” Here, the Centre requires collaboration and sponsorship.
3. The FCM team suggested that there may be some institutions and organizations that may be willing to enter into partnerships in terms of assisting with experts in migration training which can boost the CMS-NAU academic activities.
4. The FCM team suggested that the centre should ensure to consider research in areas of families, trafficking of children and young women and gender issues that are related to migration dynamics.
5. FCM team agreed that they will consider all that was put on table during the meeting and see areas that are within their mandate and then advise the Swiss government, relevant institutions and agencies accordingly for future partnership and collaboration especially in the area of research providing data on various migration dynamics.
6. FCM team also expressed interest in the civil society work on migration and requested that more information be sent to them on the matter.
Appreciation and Conclusion:
Appreciations were expressed by the leaders of the FCM and CMS-NAU with promises of ensuring that the meeting yielded fruits of collaboration and growth of relationships. The exciting meeting was drawn to a close with a group photograph by the two parties.