The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said that insecurity and unemployment are factors responsible for the recent ‘Japa’ Syndrome”, stressing the need to make the country conducive for Nigerians.
Dabiri-Erewa, represented by Kanyinsola Adetunmbi, a member of staff of the commission, said this in Abuja on Wednesday at the 6th Abuja School Debate Tournament on ‘Addressing the Japa Syndrome, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly’.
The tournament is organised by Chen Teen and Youths Development Initiatives (CTYDI), an NGO in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education.
She said that though migration is a fundamental human rights as it has several positive attributes, it also has its bad and ugly sides.
She said, ”According to CNN, a staggering 69 per cent of Nigerians will relocate out of the country with their families if given the opportunity, a 2022 survey by the Africa Polling Institute found and only 39 per cent were willing to emigrate in 2019 according to the same poll.
“Nigeria was pegged as a larger source of immigrants to Canada in 2021.
“Insecurity, unemployment, corruption and other factors are the things that push Nigerians to relocate to abroad”.
Also a Director from the Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Chituru Chendo, said that in recent years, Nigerians relocate abroad in search of greeners pastures believing that life in abroad is better than in Nigeria.
Chendo said ‘Japa had been in existence for years as people migrate on grounds of vacation, study, job and medical reasons but it was necessary for those migrating to get well-equipped for a meaningful life.
“On the aspect of unemployment, the International Audit and Tax Advisory from KPMG, projects Nigerian’s unemployment rates from 37.7 percent in 2022 to 40.6 percent in 2023.
“Some Nigerians migrate due to unemployment, insecurity, poor education and low standard of living.
“If you are migrating, make sure you have a skill you are going there to sell, make sure you are an expert in anything you are doing.
“Most of us go there without a skill, when we get there we involve ourselves in social vices like drug trafficking, prostitution, cultism, drug addict and others,” she said.
She said that the ugly aspect of migration would lead to the reduction in economic productivity which will eventually lead to collapse of businesses.
”Migration gives a negative impression that our government are not taking care of us and that our investors are not competent enough.
”When going abroad, make sure you have a plan because this is very important and once you are done come back because no place is safe all countries have their own problems,” she said.
She advised parents sending their children abroad for study not to abandon them because they also face challenges in the new environment they find themselves.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director, CTYDI, said that 60 percent of Nigerians relocate abroad because of inadequate facilities, 80 percent because of insecurity, and 95 percent because of lack of resources.
“43 percent of Nigerians are leaving the country each day between 2015 -2020, while 55 percent of Nigerians have already migrated from Nigeria to abroad,” she said.