According to the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the number of international migrants from Nigeria in 2020, the latest year for which figures are available, was 1.7 million, up from 990,000 a decade earlier.
British statistics show that in 2019 — the year before Covid struck — about 14,000 UK study and work visas were issued to Nigerian nationals. That number, which includes dependents, almost quadrupled in 2021.
Skilled workers from the healthcare sector were the largest recipients with more than 16,000 visas out of about 22,000 granted since January 2021.
In Canada, more than 15,000 Nigerians were granted permanent residence in 2021 compared to about 4,400 five years prior.
When asked to speak on the growing “Japa” trend or phenomenon, Amosun said, “I have heard about it and the reports are scary. All our youths and young talents are travelling out of Nigeria, seeking greener pastures, and the prospective countries are deliberately giving them visas to leave the country, without putting the origin country into consideration.
“What scares me most in all this is the proliferation of emigration. Foreigners will not fix our nation for us if all our citizens should leave the country. I am seeing the countries granting visas to our youths as wicked because they are not considering the origin nation, from which their prospective labour force is coming from.
If you ask our people leaving the nation for greener pastures, they will tell you that they are not planning to return to Nigeria. If you look closely at the situation, you would see that all our lawyers, accountants and most especially medical practitioners make up the largest chunk of the people leaving the country. We cannot blame them however; insecurity is one of the major problems pushing our people out of the country.
You will agree with me that our people are not lazy and are always willing and ready to work diligently. Most of the migrants are forced to leave the country as a result of bad governance, unstable economy, insecurity and other challenges. I am sure Nigeria will be great again, but the reports of migration recently have been disheartening for me.”
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