Little is known about the interests, stakes and stakeholders when it comes to governing migration in Nigeria. This Abuja Policy Debate was organized around the research conducted by Dr Kwaku Arhin-Sam from the Arnold Bergstraesser Institut in Germany, focusing on political dimensions of migration governance in Nigeria. His research as supported by the Mercator Dialogue on Asylum and Migration (MEDAM). At the beginning of the event, the German Ambassador Dr Bernhard Schlagheck delivered a keynote address, in which he emphasized the need to increase opportunities for legal migration between Nigeria and European countries while limiting illegal migration.
Afterwards, Dr Arhin-Sam presented the results of his research. One of his major findings is that migration governance is interesting, but not a priority for the Nigerian government. Particularly at the federal level, he contended, migration is not a political issue. Furthermore, he found that the interests of the Nigerian government differ from those of EU member states. On the one hand, EU member states focus on sensitization campaigns on the dangers of irregular migration and the promotion of returns. At the same time, they maintain restrictions on regular migration. On the other hand, the Nigerian government also considers alternatives to illegal migration. These include, for instance, vocational training, as well as skills training and employment creation.
The research presentation was followed by a panel discussion, moderated by Amarachi Ubani, News Anchor at Channels TV. Among the panellists were Ms Omolola Olarinde, lecturer at Elizade University, Mr Matthias Esene, project officer at the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), as well as Mr Roland Nwoha, project coordinator at Idia Renaissance. Amongst others, the panellists and the audience discussed whether migration will ever become a political issue in Nigeria. Furthermore, the interests of EU member states when it comes to migration member states in Nigeria were discussed. The discussion among the panellists was augmented by numerous questions from the audience.