Former Nigerian diplomats have blamed insecurity and a poor economy for the increasing migration of Nigerians, especially undocumented citizens.
In recent times, the Northeast, the Northwest and the Center-North have been subjected to terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.
In the Southeast and South-South, separatist violence and theft of crude oil have worsened, while in the Southwest sects, armed robberies and various crimes are the order of the day.
The 2021 Global Peace Index compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace ranked Nigeria 146 out of 163 countries with a score of 2,712, while among sub-Saharan African countries, the country ranked 39 out of 44. countries examined in the region.
Similarly, according to the Global Terrorism Index in 2020, more than $40.6 billion worth of foreign investment was diverted from the Nigerian economy as a result of insecurity.
Speaking to our correspondent on Thursday, a former Nigerian ambassador to Angola, Folorunsho Otukoya, said the undocumented movement of citizens is not unique to Nigeria alone, blaming harsh economic factors, impatience of youth and unrestricted freedom of movement. of the Nigerians.
Otukoya said: “Some feel that Nigerians ‘japa’ because of the harsh economic conditions. Others feel that young people are impatient and want to do it quickly. There is also the other narrative, that Eldorado, the promised land, lies off the coast of Nigeria. Of course, as long as Nigerians have unrestricted freedom of movement, there will always be illegal migration.
“In some French-speaking countries where I had the privilege to serve during my 35-year career in the Foreign Service, a citizen cannot apply for a visitor visa to another country without first obtaining approval from their own Ministry of the Interior or National Security. Therefore, visa applications are routinely rejected by embassies once there is no approval. When obtaining the visa, the citizen must deposit a certain amount of money to attend the deportation if he is deported in the future.
In the same vein, retired Ambassador Rasheed Akinkuolie said insecurity and a high unemployment rate are driving Nigerians to leave the country by any means possible, noting that those who travel and cannot get a job become a problem in a foreign country and are being evacuated back home by the Nigerian government.
Akinkuolie stated: “The security situation in Nigeria is one of the reasons why people leave the country, especially young people. There is hardly any state in Nigeria that is safe. People cannot travel by road or train without being kidnapped.
“Youth unemployment is another major problem, regardless of your qualification. Doctors, engineers, university graduates in various disciplines, etc. They migrate in search of better job opportunities abroad.