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Would you leave Nigeria for other African countries?

Brain drain is not an incongruous word in the Nigerian media and academic sphere where reports and papers are presented often on how young, bright…

Brain drain is not an incongruous word in the Nigerian media and academic sphere where reports and papers are presented often on how young, bright Nigerian minds migrate to other countries.

These could be in search of an enabling environment or greener pastures. Such emigration could be temporary or permanent – where these people seek citizenship of host countries, which implies renouncing Nigerian citizenship if such a country does not allow for multiple citizenship.

Is the grass greener for Nigerians in all the countries across the world or just greener in western countries? LifeXtra asked Nigerians if they would migrate to other African countries and if they would be willing to change their citizenship to that of another African country.

Abduljalil Umar, a journalist by training, said leaving Nigeria has to be for tourism and business purposes only. “Except for tourism or business purposes, Nigeria is my home ad infinitum. I will be here to get it working again.”

A mother of two, Lami Ujor, told LifeXtra that she can’t trade Nigeria for any other African country.

Lami said “I don’t think there’s any other African country I can leave Nigeria for except maybe Ghana but it’ll be when I’m left with no choice.”

She added “to exchange my citizenship for Ghanaian citizenship? No way! My desire for greener pasture hasn’t gotten to that level yet.”

Joseph Makanjuola, an entrepreneur, says he will rather go on vacation to foreign countries than relocate there.

“I have been abroad and although the facilities are readily available, as a foreigner you don’t have the freedom to move about or do certain things like in Nigeria. You are always conscious of what you do,” he said.

Although Joseph has never been to any African country, he believes the restrictions there might not be as strict as it is in Europe or America.

“I have never been to any other African country. I’ve only been to the United States and Saudi Arabia and although I made much money, but the restrictions were much. I can only go for a while and come back to my home land because I can’t live in bondage,” he said.

However, Muru Daniel, an engineer, says he would relocate to any African country that offers him greater prospects and better opportunities than Nigeria.

While the desperation to live abroad is worrisome, Muru says “Even some rich people and politicians who supposedly have everything going for them also leave the country,” he said.

“I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering; five years after I still cannot find a job anywhere. I had to learn how to repair handsets and that is what I am doing now. So truthfully, I will relocate to any African country that offers me good job and quality living,” he said.

Kaduna resident Jummai Mohammed, who teaches in a private school, says she cannot exchange Nigerian citizenship.

She said “No, I will never exchange my citizenship for that of any country.”

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