Many Nigerians are fleeing because the country is inhabitable for them. I have very big dreams for my life, many of which involve Nigeria. But I’m scared that I won’t be able to achieve them if I remain here for so many reasons.
From bad health care to a bad economy, government, and education, what’s there to stay for? I don’t want to delve into the fact that more than half of the population is living in poverty. That will take up the majority of this post. Sure, I can choose to stay and help to directly change the country or push for a change to happen. Why is that not something I have opted for?
First of all, yes I have tried. Getting properly educated in what I want to do proved impossible. Being in a working environment with older people in power who would not even listen to your opinion, let alone allow you to implement it. I have also seen other people try harder than I have. Has anything good come out of it?
If you have visited or lived in a system that works, living in Nigeria will make you sad. Even for the extremely wealthy, the country’s system is mostly structured to make you fail.
I’m going to focus on the three major countries that Nigerians emigrate to (Canada, Australia, USA). Everything, from public transportation to health care has a well-defined system. Having said that, I think it’s best to highlight a few points below:
In the countries that Nigerians move to, the weather is mostly cool. I know this is not something that we have control over, but if we had constant ‘light’, the heat would be bearable.
In Nigeria, something as simple as enjoying yourself will turn to a ‘sufferhead’ situation. There are limited places to enjoy yourself without partying or emptying your bank account. Even just going to the cinema to see a movie is a luxury because of how much you end up spending. Most people in Nigeria are boxed by tribalism, whereas one is more likely to meet and possibly become friends with people from different races. You get to hear and share experiences with different people.
This part is going to be difficult. Nigerian food is the best I have eaten, but it’s also expensive for Nigerians in and outside the country. We have the farms and farmers, but how are we going to process and preserve it? So we have to export our food and it comes back high-priced, so people cannot even afford to eat properly to live healthy lives. Also, getting it in any country outside Nigeria is overly expensive!
Healthcare is easily accessible and mental health is also taken pretty seriously, instead of being mocked. With many important things in life, healthcare is paid for by the taxes paid. In places where there is no free healthcare, at least, there are available resources to take care of any sick people. You really do not have to worry about Malaria, so on the brighter side, you might not need to pay any hospital bills (lol).
The Nigerian education system has deteriorated. It is a fact that the level of education previous generations enjoyed is not the same today. With the exception of private universities, many people graduate from university and don’t even know how to construct proper sentences or even have enough skills to apply for jobs. Hence, the high rate of unemployment.
Even when you get the job, are you being paid well? Think about what you earn as a salary in a month in Nigeria. Imagine making triple that amount in a week for the same amount of work you put in. That’s all you have to know.
When it comes to religion, class, tribe, and sexuality, Nigerians are very intolerant people. I have witnessed people kill each other over tribe and religion during the Jos riots in 2001. Also been in office environments where qualified people were turned down because they were either not Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo.
With an emphasis on religious intolerance, my family ‘ran away’ from the riots in Jos and moved to Abuja. Years after, Boko Haram started their attacks by bombing churches or gatherings in various parts of the north. Over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in 2014, which kick-started the Bring Back Our Girls campaign. Other parts of Nigeria are not exempt from terror. There have been reports of expatriates being kidnapped in the South-South.
Sure, discrimination happens a lot outside of Nigeria, but they have systems in place where those issues can be dealt with. At least they have some sort of hope.
Pretty much, that’s all I can say for now. As long as you pay your taxes, are hardworking, law-abiding, friendly and smart, you’ll enjoy your stay outside of Nigeria.
Do you have better experiences living in Nigeria? Please share in the comment section.