A third of Nigerians want to emigrate‚ but not to South Africa
As South Africans on Tuesday bemoaned news that the country had entered a recession‚ statistics showed that one in three Nigerians also seem fed up with their country.
The pan-African research network Afrobarometer found that 30 percent want to seek greener pastures on other shores.
Researchers interviewed 1‚600 Nigerians between April 26 and May 10 last year and found:
- More than one in three Nigerians have considered emigrating (35%).
- More than one in 10 (11%) have given “a lot” of thought to emigrating.
- Three in four Nigerians want to emigrate for economic reasons‚ including unemployment (35%)‚ escaping poverty (31%) and pursuing better opportunities (10%).
Most Nigerians are looking to the United States (32%) followed by Europe (21%). Others want to head to Ghana or another country in West Africa.
Younger Nigerians with higher levels of education and who live closer to cities are more likely to want to emigrate. One in five (21%) Nigerians with no formal education and more than four in 10 (44%) with post-secondary qualifications want to head abroad.
“These variations by geographic zone may be related in part to differences in poverty levels and access to information. While nationally we found no major differences across lived poverty levels in the propensity to consider emigration‚ the poorer and more remote northern zones may also have less access to information‚ which may influence ideas about emigration‚” Afrobarometer said.
A recent report by Nigeria Health Watch found about eight out of 10 medical doctors are looking for employment elsewhere.
“North America and Europe are considerably more popular destinations among urban residents and respondents with secondary or post-secondary educational qualifications‚ while West Africa and other African countries play a larger part in the emigration considerations of rural and less-educated respondents.”
The report concluded: “These findings clearly point to the need for pro-people and pro-development economic policies that will give young citizens reasons to stay in or return to Nigeria.”