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Migration to Foreign Lands
The sustained migration of peoples, especially essential human assets from the African continent in general and Nigeria in particular to other African nations, Europe, Asia and the Americas to seek asylum for enhanced opportunities in recent times should be a real source of concern for all governments, companies and responsible citizens in general.
However, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has divided international migrants into two groups: those who migrate of their own volition, leaving for study, work or to join their families, repression or natural disaster. Yet the two categories quickly became interdependent due to their quite interrelated motive of seeking “better job opportunities” abroad, while contributing greatly to the success of economies outside their own.
However, this trend invariably becomes more worrisome in connection with the broad effects of such massive movements abroad on the growth and development of the socio-economic, political, educational and human capital of the nation on the fortune economy of the country.
Furthermore, it has been observed that due to the ongoing but unfortunate mismanagement in the country, the overwhelming adverse effects of this obvious lapse are real in decaying infrastructure, acute brain drain syndrome, low capacity utilization in local industries, low. productivity, collapse of the societal value system, systemic mediocrity in national affairs, widespread youth unemployment, armed banditry, kidnapping, despair among other debilitating vices. Scores of Nigerians, old and young, are daily driven to explore all manner of travel arrangements, legal and illegal, to leave Nigerian shores for other countries at all costs.
Expressing concern over the approach that many Africans, including Nigerians, are migrating abroad in search of the proverbial Golden Fleece, Nigerian-born, US-based Phillip Emeagwali in his article titled: “Africa : Thinking outside the box. in an In-the-Box World”, years ago, they warned: “If ideas are really capital, then Africa must stop its brain drain and promote the African Renaissance, which will lead to the rebirth of the continent. After all, a renaissance is a rebirth of ideas. And knowledge and ideas are the engines that drive economic growth.”
After what many described as the result of pure frustration in the system, forcing many to migrate to foreign lands, such a desperate move to leave the country from particularly illegal immigrants by land or air, has no doubt led to horrible experiences and consequences.
For the majority of such relentless illegal migrants who have continued to embark on an adventure in Eldorado at the risk of their lives in sometimes dehumanizing conditions, while making frantic attempts to cross foreign lands through the bottom of a ship’s hold, the plane in transport, or in the cold of the cold trucks.
Unfortunately, many have died on journeys between the African continent and Europe, as boats have capsized and migrants’ bodies have been torn to pieces by sharks. Some who, perhaps by providence, have survived long and tedious journeys through the deserts, having traveled from Nigeria through particularly the Republic of Niger to Libya or Morocco, have returned to relive their harrowing, near-death experiences in the dusty and cold deserts. .
And, for most Nigerians who have made it to foreign lands perhaps illegally, it is no longer news that almost every fortnight these days, batches of Nigerian deportees are flown in from abroad, having allegedly committed crimes ranging from criminality. prostitution, street fighting, hooliganism, human trafficking, drug trafficking and false travel documents among others.
Admittedly, a good number of Nigerians who have also migrated legitimately to other countries on the African continent have had it in recent times. A very useful example is the recent unpleasant experiences of most Nigerian residents in Egypt, Libya and Ivory Coast at the hands of armed forces loyal to the discredited administrations in these countries.
Their lamentations of suffering and neglect upon arrival, especially at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, indeed, should be food for thought for Nigerian leaders to take home. Many of these Nigerians wish they had never left the country for such politically unstable nations in search of the proverbial “Golden Fee”. Many, unfortunately, lost everything they worked for in the pandemonium in the troubled regions.
Persistent migration invariably deprives Nigeria of the cream of its society, as most migrants are generally regarded as the most energetic, active and entrepreneurial citizens of the nation. Now the phenomenon of brain drain is experienced in all sectors of the nation’s economy.
Many students who have actually traveled to receive education overseas have refused to return home to help implement their acquired skills in various fields of human endeavors for the good of the country due to the comparatively tough economic environment in their homeland.
Now, how do Nigeria and other African nations encourage their citizens who are professionals in various sectors to return home to help lift the Black Continent out of infectious poverty? Emeagwali, again, grieves for the fate of the continent, as he said: “When African men and women of ideas, who will give birth to new ideas, have fled to Europe and the United States, then the so-called African Renaissance cannot. in Africa, it can only be in Paris, London and New York. There are more Soukous musicians in Paris than in Kinshasha; more professional African football players in Europe than in Africa. Literature African is more at home abroad than in Africa. in Africa.”
“Africans in Europe are alleviating poverty in Europe, not in Africa. Until the men and women of ideas – the true caretakers of Africa – begin to return home, the African Renaissance and poverty alleviation remain empty slogans,” he also said.
That is not to mention thousands of Nigerian doctors, information and communication technology professionals, and teachers to mention a few, making waves in foreign lands, as their homeland continues to suffer under the dead weight of bad government, corruption, armed robbery, ineptitude. , mediocrity, and increasing cases of kidnapping, a hitherto nebulous criminal act that now threatens the nation’s social fabric.
While appreciating the beauty of staying abroad and making a good life here, Gbenga Badejo, sounds like a prophet in his article, “Six Things Africans Living Abroad Must Note!” Some time ago he stated that, although it was not an attempt to scare, it is important that Africans living abroad reflect on certain questions that provoke thought and are motivated to rebuild the their country of origin.
He had asked critical questions such as: “What if Africans or most immigrants for that matter are repatriated en masse to Africa? What if the enlargement of the EU (European Union) means mass unemployment for the ‘African immigrants in Europe? And if citizenship is redefined and differentiation Introduced even to citizens born in the West? In the case of any of the above scenarios, what will be the fate of the children of Africans abroad, many of whom have little knowledge of their ethnic origin, without speaking or understanding the language.”
So, how can such Nigerians who are already resident abroad but wish to return home to join forces with their fellow countrymen, men and women at home, to raise the fortunes of the people and make a marked improvement in key indicators of human development? How about measures to encourage more Nigerians who strive every day to get out of the country at the slightest opportunity and offer the nation for so long until God knows when they will reconsider their decision?
The clear propensity for legal and illegal migration among large numbers of Nigerians today should serve as a strong wake-up call to the nation’s leadership. This is in respect of the institutionalization of an intentional leadership, based on values, not only to formulate credible policies, but also to institute people-oriented programs and projects, which alleviate poverty, which promise hope and a new lift .
With much better lighting programs and people engagement strategies, there is indeed no better time for the Federal Ministries of Information and Communication, Culture and National Orientation, Business Foreign and other related Government agencies to convey the core message of the Re-branding Nigeria Project to the generality of people at home and abroad that now, while bearing in mind that the image of the nation remains always the lighthouse in the committee of nations.
It should be noted that most Africans in general and Nigerians in particular suffer mainly from the effects of the identified dishonesty, corruption and greed in the character of the leadership and a will of the power brokers to improve the lot of the people.
This is the time for everyone to choose the respect of their conscience against the respect of personal interests, egocentric rooted in the affairs of the nation. In this way, we can give posterity the opportunity to experience true humanism and improve our common good.
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#Migration #Foreign #Lands