The mad rush of Nigerians to renounce their citizenship for other countries is a pointer to the fact that Nigerian youths are fed up with the way things are as things aren’t working for them in the country of their birth.
Reports today, Shuaib Belgore, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior revealed that during the last 15 years from 2006 to 2021, 150 Nigerians renounced their citizenship.
Belgore added that in 2022 alone however, 159 Nigerians renounced their citizenship in 2022, while stating that as at the last count in January, a total of 309 Nigerians have already registered to renounce their citizenship.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola also revealed that 2022 recorded the highest demand for passports as a result of the desperation of citizens to leave the country for greener pastures, popularly known as ‘Japa’.
He disclosed that the Nigeria Immigration Service processed and issued at least 9.31 million passports over the last seven years, with 2022 recording the highest number of passport booklets which totaled 1,899,683.
The breakdown showed that in 2015, 2016 and 2017, the service processed and issued 941,995, 1,035,668 and 1,136,855 passports respectively.
In 2018, 2019 and 2020, it processed 1,242,953 and 780,047 passports respectively, while 1,056,422 and 1,899,683 passports were processed and issued in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
However, if things don’t get better in the country, this huge figure could be a child’s play as it could get much higher by the end of 2023, depending on how much turn around the new government coming in by May 29, is able to make.
But this figure can be seen as an indictment on the Nigerian government following their failure to create jobs or provide the enabling environment for the thriving of their small businesses, technological inventions.
For those still trying to struggle to surmount this, have several factors mitigating against their survival, as they are faced with the stiff challenges of high and multiple taxation, poor or unavailable power supply to run their business, unavailable or high cost of fuel to run their businesses, unemployment, insecurity, religious extremism, amongst others.
Those unable to find their way out of the country, due to frustration and struggle for survival, venture into negative social vices such as armed robbery, fraud, kidnapping for ransom, and so on.
In fact, many of the surrendered Boko Haram terrorists and bandits are farmers sacked from their farmlands and forced into terrorism. Others confessed that they joined the evil act, to be able to fend for themselves and their families, as that was their only chance at survival.
READ MORE: 159 Nigerians Renounce Citizenship In 2022 – Interior Ministry
The activities of these terror groups in the North and those of unknown gunmen in the South-East have also forced many to abandon their ancestral homes to look for safer greener pastures mostly outside the country’s shores.
Unemployment and Underpayment
After going through primary and secondary school, all through the university and even post-graduate and masters, spending so much to get their degrees, most of them are unable to get employed. An idle hand they say, is the devil’s workshop, hence, they therefore go into these negative vices as mentioned above. Investigation also reveal that many of them are graduates.
Many of those who are lucky to get a job, are either underpaid or don’t get paid their salaries as at when due. This is evident in the various strike actions embarked upon by various workers across the country to demand better welfare and pay.
Many can’t forget too easily the recent seven months nationwide strike by the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities, not forgetting other mass actions by resident airport workers, resident doctors, amongst others. This is the major cause of brain drain in the country.
The incessant fuel scarcity and its continuous hikes in price, along with the poor or unavailable power supply, some of which have been characterised by incessant grid collapses in the country, have been a frustration to businesses, many of whom have had to either close down, relocate to other economic and business friendly countries, sell off some of their or sell their businesses entirely.
Most of the affected business owners and employees end up back in the labour market and at the end of the day, look for better opportunities outside the country. This is another cause of brain drain in the country.
Over-Taxation and unfriendly economic/business policies
Multiple taxes from different government agencies also scare away business owners, as they dump their business, leaving many workers back to the unemployment market where there is almost no job available.
This the government does only to generate more revenue without considering the negative impact it will have on the survival of these businesses.
Furthermore, policies promulgated by government over the years have gone a long way to stop businesses from thriving, as they are executed to favour only the government.
Hence, those at the receiving end, the workers, look for how to get out of the mess by leaving the country to other countries where they can be more hopeful for better job security, most of whom feel disappointed with father land.