First and foremost, it’s pathetic to read many of the texts written by my fellow Nigerians that are desirous to leaving the shores of Nigeria in search of a better future. This reminds me of the days I was in Nigeria. I share your concerns and dreams. I know that the untold economic situation in Nigeria has caused almost all of you to want to leave Nigeria but here is a few advice from me as someone who has gone through the struggle and have lived in Europe for more than 10 years, and so my advice is based on lived experience.
Majority of you have indicated that they are disposed or willing to take up any job they could find if they can make it to the western countries with a few saying the have O level i.e SSCE qualification. It is hard, if not impossible for you to get a job because these countries need highly skilled labor. In other words, you need to have a minimum of first degree( bachelor’s) to be able to fit in.
Many jobs are competitive and as such even requires a master’s degree. I came to Europe with a BA degree obtained from one of Nigeria’s famous universities in second class honors upper division. As the many companies outsourced their jobs to developing countries, jobs became even more competitive that in order to secure your career, you need to upgrade. This forced me to obtain my master’s degree to stay on top of the game.
So what am I saying? It is hard to migrate to Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the US with low academic qualifications because even the menial jobs are being taken by uneducated citizens of these countries let alone migrants.
Moreover, another crucial element which I consider most important of all is that it’s not that easy to live and work in a foreign country. To be able to live and work, you need to be documented as a legal immigrant and in many of these western countries, the process is tough and difficult especially in the face of civil wars that have resulted in refugee crisis as well as economic depression. The easiest way to make it here is to enroll in an educational institution if you have the means or a sponsor, or to get married to a citizen of that country you are emigrating to or someone with a permanent residence status. That way, even if you have no education, you are sure to stay! Also, bear in mind that even if you come in as a student, your resident status is time-limited covering only the duration of your studies.
It’s only United Kingdom in the whole of Europe that gives or grants a permanent residence status (i.e. Indefinite leave to remain) to students after the termination or end of their studies in certain circumstances, for example, if the course you have studied is listed as one of those wherein there is shortage of labour- medicine, nursing, IT, aeronautical engineer or fligh engineer, pilots, dentists, film instructors, culinary profession( eg cooks, chef) and so on.
Please do not be deceived by anyone to pay him to obtain a visa for you because such a person is only interested in your money but will not be there when your visa runs out and you become illegal and risk imprisonment and deportation. It might take some time but try to do it the legal way so that you start a new life without much hassles which also gives you the opportunity to travel around as you wish. Anything that is what doing is what doing well.
Finally, don’t live under the impression that life is rosy in Europe or elsewhere in the western world, there is still a lot of struggles especially when you have family back home to support- parents , siblings and the like. However, it is surely better than Naija if one has no better means of subsistence.
I pray that ALL of you will achieve your dreams to gladden your hearts in Jesus name, Amen.