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Economic challenges cause irregular migration

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By Mercy Kelani

UNODC says this act is to escape poverty, insecurity and unemployment.

The search for greener pastures and the drive for survival has lured countless Nigerian youths into attempting deadly ways to cross over from the country to Europe and other parts of the world. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), this drive to escape hunger, insecurity, poverty, unemployment, and other factors, has caused the major division of Nigerian population to find alternatives for better options of livelihood for themselves and their families.

Asylum seekers and migrants enter into the European Union (EU) through the Central Mediterranean route, irregularly. They usually embark on long, risky journeys from Nigeria to Türkiye and North Africa, crossing the Mediterranean Sea to get to Italy. Majority of these migrants go through Libya on their way to Europe. This transit has played a role in the development of resilient and well-established smuggling and trafficking schemes in Libya. Citizens of Nigeria have encountered eight years of slow economy caused by mismanagement of the economy during the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

NBS reported a rise in national unemployment rate.

During the previous administration, the economy and security suffered greatly. It was during the administration that Nigeria ranked the poverty capital across the world, with 133 Nigerians living in abject poverty. Also, unemployment remains a challenge as a result of the unnecessarily slow economic growth and the economy’s inability to accommodate the over 4 million new entrants into the country job market every year. In April, it was stated that the rate of unemployment in Nigeria had risen to 37.7 percent, and is projected to increase to 40.6 percent.

This is due to the increasing inflow of the unemployed into the country’s job market. Unemployment is predicted to keep being a major challenge in 2023 as a result of the extremely slow economic growth, the limited investment by the private sector, and the economy’s inability to recruit new entrants. The National Bureau of Statistics reported a rise in the national employment rate from 23.1 percent to 33.3 percent in 2018 and 2020 respectively. It was further estimated that this rate had risen to 37.7 percent in 2022 and will increase to 40.6 percent in 2023.

89.3M Nigerians went below the poverty line at the start of 2023.

In July 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics made a report that Nigeria inflation had attained 24.08 percent in the same month, increasing at the highest pace in recent years. Also, in the World Bank’s Nigeria Development Update report for June 2023, it stated that the rate of poverty has increased through the loss of purchasing power from high inflation, impoverishing an estimated four million Nigerians between January – May 2023. According to the NBS data, the bank revealed that 89.3 million Nigerians went below the poverty line at the beginning of 2023.

Continuous deterioration of the country’s socio-economic conditions makes irregular migration the best option for those who seek economic survival. On many occasions, very few of the actual number who embark on these live to tell the tale. Based on a study published by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), it was discovered that a large percentage of migrants residing in Libya sought the help of criminal or smuggling networks, who charge about $5,000, to get there. The study also discovered that about 50 percent of those who travel to Libya believe they can find employment there, until they flee from life-threatening dangers.

Healthcare workforce in Nigeria is emigrating for safety & higher pay.

National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), in 2021, has said that in several African and European countries, many Nigerians are experiencing sexual and labour exploitation. The Nigerian healthcare workforce — doctors, pharmacists, and nurses — have also not ceased to emigrate to first-world countries to practice their professions. While they emigrate due to poor remuneration and worsening insecurity, they are attracted to developed countries for the higher salaries and the safe and healthy working environment.

Related Link

The Migration News: Website

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