To move back to Nigeria or not?
What you should consider before making a decision.
There are a lot of people living in Nigeria for whom their version of the Nigerian dream is to leave Nigeria for countries that fall into the first world category, countries like Canada, the USA, the United Kingdom etc. It’s an aspiration heavily influenced by the fact that life in Nigeria tends to come with the kind of problems that are to be expected in developing countries.
If you are a Nigerian living in the diaspora, you are probably already used to having your family and friends back in Nigeria regularly hail you as having made it. It doesn’t matter whether you are on a student visa or working a low-income job. Leaving Nigeria is almost synonymous with having a good life locked down.
As such, It can seem quite strange to people if, after settling abroad, you tell them you are considering moving back to Nigeria. The first question they are likely to ask is if everything is okay with you. They’ll then probably follow up with advice to give it some more thought and not rush into a decision. The latter we agree with.
There are numerous valid reasons you might consider moving back to Nigeria — it could be for the opportunities, the sense of identity that comes with living in your own country, wanting to leave a positive impact through an entrepreneurial venture or a social impact project and so on.
Whatever your reason for wanting to move back to Nigeria might be, there are a couple of things you should take note of before making your decision, and we highlight some of them below:
Ensure you have a plan: You should have a very realistic and clear goal for what you plan to do upon moving back to Nigeria. It could be starting a business, landing a job etc., have something you are working towards, and it’s ideally much better to already have a couple of things in place before moving back. e.g. capital to start the business with, interviews already lined up with prospective employers, or even securing a job.
Be financially prepared: We recommend that you have enough money saved up to cover your living expenses (accommodation, food, electricity etc.) for your first few months back home so you can maintain your lifestyle if things don’t immediately fall into place. You should have enough saved for at least six months. In this article, a Sendcash user—Bella, who recently relocated to Nigeria for the second time, talks about how being in a good place financially has been crucial to her enjoying her experience.
Test the waters: If you can afford to, visit Nigeria for a brief period before you make a move to come back. Absence makes the heart fonder, so it’s easy to have romanticised what life in Nigeria is like during your stay away. Another reason you should test the waters is to familiarise yourself with the culture gap.
Be mentally prepared: Living in Nigeria is different from living in the diaspora. You have already accepted certain things as a norm, e.g. constant electricity supply, strong internet, etc., that isn’t a given in Nigeria.
If you are seriously considering moving back to Nigeria, you need to mentally prepare yourself for a version of reality that is different from what you are used to.
Nigeria is a package deal — you can’t unbundle the good aspects of life in Nigeria alone, so you need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of moving back and let that inform your decision. Your focus should be on what works best for you and which option is likelier to leave you feeling happy and fulfilled in the long run.
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