To Migrate or Not?


I watch foreign media news a lot and for some time I’ve been amused at the contrast between what foreign media and its’ print media offers to the world. Last year while I was at the University of Leicester attending sumer school, we had a robust debate about ‘Globalization’. One of the core marketing topics centers around ‘Doing Business Abroad’. It’s an interesting concept if you ever get around to studying it.

From my point of view, I  believe Globalization did not just start at the turn of the 21st century. Globalization began during the era of continental exploration conducted by Christopher Columbus, Mungo Park, Leif Ericson, William .S Bruce, Antonio de Andrade and others. This era was marked by slave trade and massive exploitation of natural and human resources. At that time, Globalization was thrusted upon people who had not desired such. Now it seems the policy guiding Globalization, ensures unwanted people are being kept out of these same countries that demanded their services. During this robust discussions, we were shown what governments around the world were doing to keep Globalization of people at bay. This involves erecting huge fences or walls within the coast of Morocco bordering along the Spaniard coastline. There were some other walls being constructed in other parts of Western Europe and Northern America.

This led us to the main thrust of the discussion “Should globalization be based upon transfer of skills and knowledge with the influx of people? ” or “Should globalization be based upon transfer of skills and knowledge only?”. From what I’ve stated above, you can deduce my answers but I give you room to provide the answers to these questions yourself. This has led me to conduct a research using the foreign print media to track evolving lifestyle attitudes to money, government, social and economic policies of the western world.

Last month, my friends’ husband resigned from Fidelity Bank of Nigeria to pursue a new life in the United Kingdom via the “Highly Skilled Migrant Programme”. He left behind his wife and two kids since he could not come up with the N1.8mn required for the eventual migration of the whole family. Since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about the wisdom in doing this. According to my friend, this was the best thing that could have happened since slice bread. It would afford them the opportunity to start afresh and attain a higher standard of life for their kids and it would also afford them the opportunity to give birth to a ‘Britiko’ baby. I don’t have an issue if you’re jobless and decide to seek out better opportunities (i.e. if they exist) in a foreign land. Where I draw the line is dumping a pay packet of $1,500 monthly for supposedly greener pastures. That’s economic slavery to me.

Living abroad might improve your general wellbeing in terms of easier access to basic infrastructure. However, I don’t believe it will make a marginal difference to your financial state. The western world is also grappling with unemployment, credit and mortgage issues, global recession and the gradual erosion of the middle-class. While conducting my research, I have gained deeper insights into financial issues and difficulties faced by the middle-class in these countries. It is not a rosy picture as is often depicted. Life is tough and lonely in the western world due to the individualistic communal nature. I am not judging people who have decided to leave for greener pastures. I am trying to understand the psyche behind economic slavery. Why would I leave a well paying job for uncertainty?

Why is it that for our men (mostly Yoruba),  who could not be seen operating a grocery or vegetable store back home find it easier to do once outside the shores of our land? What is demeaning about selling vegetables or groceries?

“We don’t have to go the 360 degrees cos all you have is within you”- Asa.

2 thoughts on “To Migrate or Not?

  1. nan says:

    Jan, u raised a lot of pertinent issues in this post. the inexcapable fact is no matter where one lives, life still requires a lot of hard work. i personally believe there is a lot of misinformation being perpetuated abt the reality of life in developed countries both from those who have moved there (who are either posing or in denial) and from those back home who stand to gain from it. i always try to explain that living here has its own unique challenges which over 95% of pple r unprepared for. but those who are hell bent on relocating will think u r trying to block their ‘success’.

    it is also true that an unskilled worker in the UK can earn the same as that bank worker u mentioned. so one can easily see the appeal to relocate, add that to the ridiculous value of the naira to the pound, even if one is earning peanuts here, it is still of value to those in nigeria.

    unless one is highly skilled its not worth it. cuz by the time one is done paying bills & taxes u will wish u were back in nigeria, lol.

  2. Jan says:

    Thank you for clearing this pertinent question that has been popping in my head. I quite understand the point you’re making. I just wish more people would take the time to prepare and conduct proper enquiries before committing their all.

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