By Vera Samuel Anyagafu
AS the Christmas and New Year celebrations roll by, some Nigerians who came home from different destinations overseas are experiencing wobbling knees, wondering if going back is worth the while as they recount the difficulties they encountered before coming home, in a bid to keep their heads above the water.
After sharing the experiences of people deported from foreign countries probably for embarking on illegal trips or after listening to relatives who have been stuck for years due to lack of finance and, or travel papers, it is stunning to learn that many Nigerians, in fact the cream of the society are still struggling desperately to leave the country at all cost.
The environment here, with political killings, unemployment, biting austerity, insecurity, lack of trust, corruption, etc, has become very unfriendly for many who see no way out other than traveling abroad only to be confronted with the stark realities of life.
It is no longer news that most Nigerians seeking an escape from the dilemma associated with living abroad either engage in prostitution, drug trafficking, fraud and petty but strenuous jobs ranging from dish washing, baby-sitting both babies and adults, cleaning corpses and so on.
The worst of it all is that the meager incomes they receive hardly afford them the quality of living envisaged, prior to traveling.
The above example applies mainly to illegal immigrants due to the fact that they lacked the necessary documents that grant freedom of movement and association. The case is a little different for individuals who were granted legal entry as many who were lucky to get employment end up working and having little or nothing to show for it as a result of heavy taxes.
The truth is that every Nation in the world has its own peculiar challenges irrespective of the fact that it is developed or not. The United States of America, United Kingdom, Canada and some other developed Countries are places many wish to spend the rest of their lives but it is funny that these few are afraid of being victims of natural disaster only to become victims of human disaster in Nigeria. Is there truly a way out?.
The US, no doubt has put in so much to assist every race through the Visa lottery and also to curtail the number of illegal immigrants but as you already know, the rule is that you are only given a visa and once you are in, you are on your own. In other words, getting an accommodation and job which are two basic necessities, are entirely your business. Would it not be wise at this juncture to look before you leap? Except for individuals with relatives in the US, it will not be feasible finding ones feet on getting there.
Many have argued that the situation of Nigeria is so bad as such that anything and any place abroad are preferred but it may be better to embark on business trip, to promote our economy so as to encourage foreign investors rather than traveling out only to turn a slave to fellow men though you may argue that this is no better advice since most Nigerians are servants to foreigners right here in the country. What a nation? This is actually the reality of how the Nation has so far degenerated.
Another option is to take a study trip abroad to acquire more knowledge that will give you an edge over others. This definitely results into opportunities that lead to improvement of ones standard of living and development of a Nation.
2011 is actually a year to sit back and weigh the pros and cons of desiring to migrate overseas or stay back in Nigeria to harness whatever resources available in the country to control your own destiny.
Nevertheless, if the rubicon has been crossed, be focused, don’t be carried away by the razzmatazz of modernisation. Instead, seize the opportunity created by stable economy in developed nations and make the best out of your stay.