NCFRMI Second Annual National Migration Dialogue in Nigeria

NCFRMI hosted the Second Annual National Migration Dialogue in Nigeria


Matthias Ehidiamhen Esene, Migration ​​​Programme Officer, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Abuja

The year 2016 was a very significant year for migrants because it was the first time the UN General Assembly called a summit at the level of Heads of State/ Government to commit to an international response blueprint on large movements of refugees and migrants. 

In Nigeria, the elaboration of the National Migration Policy was triggered by the fact that in 2002, the President was confronted with the reality of Nigerian youths transiting through the Sahara desert to move abroad in search of greener pastures. But now, even though the incidence of irregular migration particularly the sojourn across the Mediterranean Sea has not abated, the Country is confronted with a huge internal displacement profile that requires evolving radical and creative approaches to shift from relief-dependent measures to a real and measurable durable solution strategy. This in turn can only be achieved through a very deep technical and institutional experience on the nexus of migration and displacement. The National Migration Dialogue therefore, was a designed strategy to sustain the increasing awareness and importance of migration as a function of population dynamics with great potential for national development as well as a platform for identifying our national migratory priorities.

While the GFMD took place in Bangladesh, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) through the support of the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC) was making final preparations for the hosting the 2016 National Migration Dialogue. The Dialogue was a two-day event held on the 20th -21st December, 2016 at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Center, Abuja. The theme for the dialogue was “Policy Coherence in Migration Governance; Managing Migration and Displacement: the Way Forward”
In attendance were the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Hon. Abike Dabiri Erewa (SSA to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora), Lt. Gen Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (Hon. Minister of Interior), H.E Eric Mayoraz (Switzerland Ambassador to Nigeria), Tony Luka Elumelu (ECOWAS), Enira Krzalic (Chief of Mission, IOM), Comptroller General Of Immigration, Muhammed Babandede, amongst others. Participants were drawn from the 36 states of the Federation; in a geographically balanced process where each state has been grouped according to the 6 geo-political zones to reflect a truly national configuration. ​

​​The Annual National Migration Dialogue was instituted in 2014 in observance of the International Migrants Day on 18th December. Between 2006 when the presidential directive was issued for the elaboration of the National Migration Policy and May 13th, 2015 when the Policy document was approved by the Federal Executive Council, the landscape of migration discourse had greatly changed; the level of awareness is consistently high; Nigeria realizes the potential benefit of migration to national development. Meanwhile, International Migrants Day is a day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world.