Things to consider before making this decision

Things to consider before making this decision

Given the poor economic realities in Nigeria, many often view migration out of Nigeria as a viable option. In this article, ABIODUN AZI shares all aspects of this crucial decision that changed his life.

Soji was full of expectations as he left the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, in search of greener pastures abroad.

The accounting graduate headed to the United States after months of complaints about poor job opportunities and general difficulties in Nigeria.

Her parents had to sell property to raise money for her trip in the hopes that, soon, Soji would begin sending money home to support the family’s many needs.

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Although Soji arrived in the United States successfully, things did not go as he hoped.

He couldn’t find a white-collar job and couldn’t get good housing.

He had to do three odd jobs a day in order to meet his personal needs and those of his family in Nigeria; However, it could not live up to expectations.

Soji’s story is among the tales of regret of many Nigerians who emigrated in pursuit of a better life, but whose expectations were shattered.

Analysts worry that Nigerians have been moving in large numbers in recent years.

They say the relocation in recent years has become worrying as many travelers have no plans to return home, at least soon, prompting many Nigerians to label it “Japa”.

Japa is slang to describe the act of quickly escaping, fleeing, or disappearing from a situation, often in a rushed and urgent manner.

Analysts also note that many travelers are financially and emotionally stuck in their countries of residence, adding that Japan can cause a loss of cultural identity for travelers and their children.

According to the General Overseer of Calvary Kingdom Church, Okokomaiko, Lagos State, Archbishop Joseph Ojo, there is nothing wrong with anyone going elsewhere to seek more pastures. greens.

He recalls that in the 1960s, Nigerians traveled abroad to study, work and return.

“At the time it wasn’t Japan, but lately it’s become a trip with no intention of returning.

“The Japanese trend may alter the identity of Nigerians born abroad, as they would not be in tune with the culture and customs of Africans.

“The solution is good governance. The government should be proactive in job creation, stabilize the exchange rate and vigorously pursue the renewed hope agenda.

“It should look for ways to restructure the economy through redistribution. Good leaders, secular or spiritual, will achieve results by courageously pursuing desired goals,” he says.

The General Secretary of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Executives Association of Nigeria, Mr. Lumumba Okugbawa, also says offshoring overseas for greener pastures is not new.

“In the past, people traveled abroad to seek better opportunities that could not be found in their home countries.

“It’s not new for people to travel abroad for business, professional or personal reasons.

“But they are leaving now because of the challenges they face, such as insecurity and lack of opportunities,” he says.

Okugbawa strongly believes that the way forward is for leaders to create an environment conducive to sustaining the population in the country.

“It is necessary to reorient the issue of migration, and the government should repair the country’s infrastructure to encourage small businesses to prosper,” insists the trade unionist.

For the General Secretary of the Nigeria Trade Union Congress, Mr. Aladetan Abiodun, Japa Syndrome presents a complex landscape of opportunities and challenges.

According to Abiodun, while this opens doors to opportunities abroad, it also requires a proactive approach to prevent loss of cultural identity.

“By promoting cultural awareness, leveraging technology and encouraging educational initiatives, migrants and their children can maintain a strong connection with Nigeria.

“It is essential to balance the benefits of new environments with the preservation of Nigerian heritage to foster a well-rounded and culturally rich diaspora,” says Abiodun.

Mrs. Omolola Akindipe, a retired civil servant, is concerned that Japa Syndrome is causing more parents to spend their old age in solitude and regret losing their children and grandchildren to greener pastures at home. the foreigner.

She says some displaced youth are steeped in the Western lifestyle, challenges or workloads and have little or no time for their parents in Nigeria.

She adds that many do not visit their parents and do not bring them to spend their old age with them.

“Either their wives, their husbands, their children, their financial difficulties, their lifestyle or immigration rules will prevent these children from bringing their parents.

“They also cannot spend reasonable time with their parents here in Nigeria (if they can visit them) for the same reasons.

“Unfortunately, many have lost their roots. Those who stay in touch will see their children lose their roots,” she says.

Evangelist Victoria Bello of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, New Song Parish, Ikotun, Idimu Road, Lagos State, is of the view that prospective emigrants and their families should assess the cost.

“The work of ensuring the comfort of one’s children by sending them abroad becomes futile if they lose their roots,” she said.

Mr. Emmanuel Abegunde, also a retired civil servant, acknowledges that Nigeria is going through economic difficulties and the situation is prompting many young people, in particular, to seek greener pastures abroad.

However, he believes that any decision regarding emigration must be well informed and that a cost/benefit analysis must be carried out.

Abegunde believes that hard-working people are still making significant progress in Nigeria. “No matter what, a foreign country cannot be our home. »

Mr. Yusuf Adeyemi, Chairman of Jakande Estate Youth Parliament, Oke-Afa, Isolo, Lagos State, says some of those affected by Japa Syndrome “smile despite the pain” and will not opt ​​for that if one gives them another opportunity to decide. .

He worries that some spouses move to different countries hoping to unite over time, but never get the chance.

He also notes that some men travel abroad hoping to bring their wives and children later, but never do so.

Adeyemi warns that such situations could quickly break up marriages.

Mr. Nnamdi Chukwu, a Nigerian living abroad, says many Nigerians who have moved abroad do not have the confidence to share their experiences.

He says some experiences are sad and unexpected.

Chukwu calls on Nigerians to stop expecting too much from their loved ones abroad.

According to him, such expectations put great pressure on them and push some of them to commit crimes or overwork themselves in an attempt to meet expectations.

Chukwu says it is about hard work everywhere, advising young people to think carefully before moving abroad.

He stresses that there are difficulties everywhere, expressing concern that some Nigerians abroad may not be able to return home for years due to the economic difficulties they face in their countries of residence.

The President of the Nigeria Labor Congress, Lagos State Chapter, Mrs. Funmi Sessi, sees nothing wrong with Japa.

According to Sessi, this trend rather benefits the countries of origin of migrants.

She maintains that Nigerians who have traveled abroad are giving back to the country in meaningful ways.

Sessi is also convinced that they remain attached to their cultural roots.

“Most Nigerians value family life; Once people travel, they have extended family members with whom they are connected at home.

“They still have ties to their roots; they certainly won’t forget. Furthermore, most Nigerians in the diaspora organize social gatherings and activities that keep their roots intact.

“One way to ensure that Nigerians retain their roots is for them to educate and train their children in their culture; some Nigerians do this when they travel,” she says.

Sessi recognizes that it’s not always rosy when people are abroad.

“With this in mind, people who travel should know that when the stakes are low, it is to their country of origin that they can fall back,” she insists.

Analysts are calling on all three levels of government to do more to ensure security and employment and encourage entrepreneurship to retain more youths and professionals in Nigeria.

They warn that emigration without certainty of economic survival will fuel, among other consequences, frustration and identity crisis.


There is a need to redirect migration and the government should repair the country’s infrastructure to encourage small businesses to thrive.