October 14, 2016: In the words of Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, Nigerians are likely to migrate “for economic reasons”. She informed visiting President Buhari that Nigerian migrants among others were fast losing immigration approval at 8percent rate.
EU member states therefore devised ways of deporting Nigerians, who topped 157,000 migrants and migrations by 19percent in 2016 according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNCHR.
The European Union (EU) therefore prioritized a Partnership Framework with third countries, launched on June 2016 to manage 19 per cent of refugees of Nigerian nationality. A progress report October 18, 2016 would focus on stepping up the Nigerian cooperation to act quickly on the return of Nigerian migrants to their country.
Irregular Nigerian migrants justify impulsive migration across perilous Sahara Desert route and Mediterranean Sea crossing. They claim escape from unemployment, poverty, corruption and insecurity. The Nigerian government in Nigeria can only sustain economic growth, while providing opportunities. This should focus on the young and vibrant, but skill-less or cynical demography.
However self-motivation is never scarce among young Nigerians. Against trendy and impulsive irregular migration welding, painting, fashion designing and carpentry skills for returnees in government and non-governmental programs should defines domestic productivity.
While ICT is a pervasive skillset traditional textile designing, palm produce leather production, boatbuilding/maintenance and machine tooling present potentials for training and employment. Such productive positioning will simply key into supplying local needs.
In Niger Delta the population’s dependence on the environment; fishing and agriculture, two traditional occupations is pervasive. By UN estimates agriculture, forestry, and fishing still account for more than 40 percent of the region’s employment; despite the decline of these traditional livelihoods with the dominance of the oil and gas industry. But envisaged younger population of 45 million against national total of 320 million in 2040 will cause more migrations, illegal or not. This should key into Nigeria’s large economic growth profile, perhaps second only to South Africa’s.
There will of course be questions over bloated governance expenditure, while foreign aid by development institutions and private investments enables potential emigrants to consider home based production. More so ecosystem restoration and conservation should build climate change resilient and economically viable communities.
Calls like, ‘Come Home and Be Billionaires Nigerian Government Tells Diaspora Citizens,’ may well have been countered by ‘Corruption Affecting Our Businesses, Image Abroad- Diaspora Nigerians’ or echoed in ‘How Nigerians in Diaspora Can Help in Economic Development. These could create Homegrown Productivity from Migrated Productivity and prompt a development model to reduce irregular migration.