In the face of political and economic upheavals, Nigeria’s residents have once again begun to troop in their numbers to Canada a country in the northern part of North America. The question on many people’s lips is, why Canada? But when analysing things on the flip side, it also makes sense to ask, why not? After all, so long as you can brave the cold, what do you indeed have to lose? Various arguments have sprung up, each worthy of consideration.
“We do it for the kids”.
The argument here is that the typical Nigerian parent wants their kids to grow up in a structured environment with a functioning educational system. Beyond the opportunity to secure dual citizenship, the incentives appear endless. If a man’s reason for relocating his family is to re-orient his son to the extent that peeing on the lawn is no longer seen as a normal occurrence, then it’s worth it.
It has been further argued that Nigerians aren’t exactly leaving the country because they want to suddenly get rich or make it big, but because some of them just want to get away from the uncertainty that Nigeria is plagued with. A better functional working system seems to be the huge attraction for the Nigerians looking to leave for greener pastures.
The issue of insecurity is chief of them all. If you escape the Boko Haram insurgents, do you have protection against the robbers and kidnappers? Not too long ago, people were seated in the comfort of their homes somewhere at Iju Ishaga in Lagos state, only for a plane to come and land on their heads. There was also the story of a man who went to answer the call of nature in the bushes only to be hit and killed by a vehicle tyre that crashed into him from the highway! You really can’t make this up, there are over a thousand ways to die in Nigeria!
In the not-so-distant past, the United States was an attractive prospect for hordes of Nigerians looking to flee the country, but all of that changed when Donald Trump emerged as President. The Trump administration made a decision to lift the temporary protected status for immigrants living in the U.S sparking a lot of talk on deportation and eventual deportation of “illegal immigrants”
Apparently, they don’t even want to have us anymore. According to a report by Sahara Reporters, Canadian officials in Nigeria are working with the U.S. on developing tools to flag Nigerians applying for U.S. visas who may be at “high risk” of crossing illegally into Canada across the U.S. border. Based on findings this year, the majority of illegal migrants arriving in Canada are Nigerians who have recently been issued U.S. travel visas.
Sadly, Canadian immigration authorities are now working with their American counterparts to put measures in place to stop Nigerian travellers to the United States from using their U.S. visas as a ticket to Canada, flowing from the premise that Nigerians abuse U.S. visas for the purpose of asylum. From the look of things, it’s only a matter of time before Canada completely shuts its borders to Nigerians.
In spite of existing bottlenecks, it is apparent that the influx of Nigerian nationals into first world countries is not looking to end any time soon. If people are willing to bear the hardship of the Sahara desert just to get to Italy via Libya, then administrative policies are small hurdles to climb. Until things are fixed around here, the brain drain will continue, and that is an immutable fact.
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