Europe is currently dealing with a migrant crisis and Nigeria is one of the main sources of the influx. So why are people leaving and how can we persuade them to stay?
According to a recent report, around 30,000 undocumented Nigerians crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in the last year alone. A whole lot died while trying to.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says at least 521 Africans have so far drowned in the Mediterranean Sea this year. The majority are Nigerians.
The stories of the fates of illegal migrants do not deter others. Young people in the country are desperate. They are faced with an uncertain future caused by economic hardship and a biting ongoing recession.
Nigeria’s economy shrunk by 1.51 per cent in 2016. More than 112 million Nigerians live below the poverty level. That’s over 67 per cent of the population. Unemployment rose to 13.9 per cent in the third quarter of 2016. Young people, who make up about 45 per cent of the population, account for majority of the unemployed. For many, the dream is to go abroad in search of greener pastures.
This desperation has lead to the growth of one industry in particular. Powerful people and their agents feed off the gullibility and desperation of young people. They pretend that they can help them reach a better life abroad. In some instances, the victims are forced, threatened and blackmailed into co-operation.