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There is evidence proof
from historical research about movements of people across
international borders in the pre-colonial era in West Africa. Nigeria, like other
its West African countries
counterparts,  has a long history of population
mobility, both regionally and internationally. Coupled withIn
addition to various factors as long-distancevastness
in trade, the search for greener pasture,
urbanization and the growth of administrative
centresgovernment sectors, the demands of
mining, industrial production and plantation agriculture, armed conflict, land
degradation, drought and rural poverty; migration has played a major part
role in shaping settlement patterns in
the region (DFID, 2004). Census based estimates evaluations
by the United Nations Population Division suggest that Nigeria has
the largest absolute unequivocal international
immigrant stock (based on place of birth data) in West Africa. It is also the
only part of sub-Saharan Africa where migration stocks relative to the total
population have been increasing over the past few decades (Dde
Haas, 2007). Amin (1974) asserts that the colonial period provoked roused
large-scale labour migration required for plantations, mines and
public administration beyond local supply. These resulted intogave
rise to a series of economic measures, including compulsory
recruitment, contract and forced labour legislation guidelines
and agreements to secure cheap labour, sparked clandestine
internal and cross-border migration of unskilled adult males required for
infrastructural work, especially transport networks in the north and plantation
agriculture in the coastal countries. International migration in Nigeria pre-dates
the colonization of Nigeria, irrespective regardless
of the difficulties encountered faced
in classifying the moves as either internal or international and
of getting accurate data. The former problem arises stems
from the fact that Nigeria could not have been identified as a
nation before colonization, as different ethnic groups and/or nationalities
lived under different kingdoms and empires within the geographical space now
referred to as Nigeria. The slave trade across the Sahara Desert and the
Atlantic Ocean, had an overwhelming impact on virtually all parts of Nigeria.
The transatlantic trade in particularsingularly
accounted for the forced migration of perhaps 3.5 million people between the
1650s and the 1860s, while a steady stream of slaves flowed north across the
Sahara for that era till the beginning of the twentieth century. Within
Nigeria, slavery was widespreadwell-known,
with social implications that are still evident today. Transhumance activities
and the dispersal of the Fulani across the Sahel involved considerable
mobility. Religious education and the hadj to Mecca were associated with major
mobility and sometimes settlement of West Africans all all
acrossacross West, North and East Africa (Dde
Haas, 2007). Although, there is a paucity of documentation on the human
mobility and migration during this period, some studies, such as Alkali (1985)
and Armstrong (1955) convey the conception
idea that migration flows during the
period were dynamic and diverse. According to Meillasoux (1969), the movements
of the people within the West African region were linked to trade, including
slave trade, conflicts, and natural disasters such as famine, rather than to
manpower transfers or rural-urban migration. Conde (1987) highlights three characteristics
of migration which include change of residence, distance, and length of time.
The idea of the place of residence may vary from the smallest administrative
unit like a village to a large territorial area such as the province, region
etc. Of significance is the distance because it is a factor that may influence
the scale of migration. The third characteristic is the stay at the point of
destination which could be lengthy or permanent, though it may also be
temporary. From the perspective of African experience, the distinction disparity
between internal and international migration is obscured because
of the factors such as the arbitrariness of national boundaries that
artificially divide homogeneous socio-economic
units between two or more countries; the poorly policed boundaries which lack
permanent physical features; the complimentary economies of neighbouring
countries and cultural affinity in different countries (Adepoju, 1984).
Empirical studies that were carried out in a number ofa
few African countrycountries
which include, Nigeria, Botswana, Ghana, Liberia and Tanzania showed that each
country has its own special characteristics but there are certain similarities as
regardsin respect of
the reasons for migration. These
reasons include demographic pressure as well as poor social and economic
conditions, Other factors that have prompted people to migrate could be
discussed under political and environmental factors and these are war,
political persecution, revolution, famine as a result ofcaused
by drought, flood and epidemics.
, Conde
(1987) is of the view that migrants are generally motivated by a combination of
two or more factors because migration is rarely decided by any one of the
reasons for migration. While linking migration to development in Africa,
, Adepoju (1987) is of the opinion
that strongly believes
that internal migration in Africa takes place as a response to the
existing imbalance between the regions of a country. Thus, migration portendssignifies,
to a large extent, inequalities in development, employment opportunities,
income and living conditions between regions. He emphasises accentuates
on the distinct economic and social differentiation between rural
and urban areas within Africa based on the variance variance
in ecological and climatic conditions. A crucial fundamental
factor in regional inequalities in Africa is the fact that only a
few countries are relatively endowed bestowed
with viable natural resources, for example, most of the countries
in the Sahel region of Africa have experienced land degradation and are
environmentally damaged.

In February 1992,
Europe, preoccupied with its own problems as it moved
progressed forward towards the
establishment of a single integrated market on the month of February
1992;, and
with the growing instability on its Eastern borders following the
disintegration of the former Soviet Union, appeared in the early 90s’ to have
lost enthusiasm for its development contact with Africa (including Nigeria). So
farHitherto, the enormous immigration
growth experienced by the European countries has by itself a special interest,
both in the context of international migration, as for the singular role that Africa,
Nigerians specifically, flows have had in the revolutionary transformation from
senders to receivers of these countries. If this growth has been impressive, so
have been the impact bearing of
the economic crisis and the consequent decrease of the flows, and even the
return of some of the migrants who have arrived in recent years. As seen
in other European countries, the colonial past of the
Mediterranean countries has played a substantial role in the generation of
migration flows, policies that respond to the existence of these flows, and
social spaces reserved for migrants.

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          There
is a rise in the number of migratory movement from Nigeria to Europe, and this has
stimulated and improved political engagement from the EU though migration
discourse between the EU and migrant-sending countries such as Nigeria with the
aims to create channels for interactions on migrant issues. Migration discourse
with Nigeria has become a vital part of the external dimension of the EU’s
migration policy, or rather the integration of migration policy with
traditional foreign policy spheres scopes
such as development, trade, and security and the establishment of
cooperation processes between the receiving and sending countries for the
purposes of ‘joint migration management’.

          There
is an increased perception that
both on the EU and Nigeria that through a clear and harmonized policy of joint
migration management, migration can be favorable to both countries of origin
and destination. The need for collaboration on migration challenges the
traditional relationship between the EU and Nigeria. This relationship has
often been qualified as unimbalanced,
where the EU holds overarching power over a weaker Nigeria side. The EU, the
Commission, and/or the Member States are thus considered to have the ultimate
decision-making power when it comes to relations relations
with Nigeria. Relations have been conceptualized as driven mainly by the EU’s
interests and preferences (see Elgstrom, 2000, 2005; Holland, 2002; Olsen,
2002, 2005). The migration sphere scope
poses a challenge to this concept. The EU’s intensified interest in
conducting migration discourse with migrant sending countries as Nigeria has
favoured unparalleled form of cooperation between the two nationsparties.

This dissertation challenges the common
view that power imbalance necessarily characterizes EU-Nigeria relations.
Although power imbalance is evidenced by the possibility of the EU to employ cramping
measures to prevent and control migration flows, and through
with the use of coercive measures to induce or even force sending
countries to cooperate in prevention and control, despite the significant pull
factors for migration originating in the EU, in the migration domain the EU
does not hold absolute power. TheConsequently,
the need to engage migrant sending countries
to cooperate in reducing migratory flows challenges traditional power
relations. The need also for cooperation and the
increased strategic importance of migration for the EU have created a more symmetrical
balanced relationship in which both
parties can make demands and concessions, giving Nigeria government a new scope
for influencing the EU and getting their demands met. This dissertation
explores the extent to which the EU’s migration discourse with African
countries has impacted on its relations with Nigeria. More precisely, it looks
at how the scope of influence of Nigeria as a major migration country in West
Africa has been affected by the EU’s engagement on migration. It will be
demonstrated that despite the rise of discourse with African countries, the EU
faces constraints in conducting this dialogue. These constraints have a
negative effect to the EU’s ability to be a strong actor in migration
negotiations with African countries. Nigerian government, aware of the
constraints the EU have, successfully repositioned the
migration agenda in favour of development rather than purely focusing on
migration control, and secondly, they have successfully driven and established
ownership over joint cooperation schemes. While the EU’s migration policy
towards Nigeria has been regarded as geared entirely towards a politics of
control, the development of the migration agenda towards a more comprehensive
approach considering the interests of destination countries can be partially
attributed to the leadership of Nigerian
governments..

 

 

 

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