An immigration lawyer based in the United Kingdom, Femi Aina, has advised Nigerians seeking to relocate abroad for greener pastures not to sell all they have to process their travelling.
Aina, who gave the advice in an exclusive interview with our correspondent at the weekend, said many Nigerians seeking greener pastures failed to realise that migration has its problems.
The immigration lawyer said some Nigerians after relocating abroad in search of a better life are now living in misery.
He said, “Don’t sell everything you have because you want to relocate. I will rather advise you to keep something behind; because you might get there and realise that the picture painted is a wrong picture. The fact that it favours some does not mean it will favour everybody, and some people might even be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the problem will escalate from there.
“If you go to the prison in the United Kingdom, you will see a lot of Nigerians there. The initial intention they had was to japa so that everything would be fine and dandy, but the reverse is the case. People should reflect on this. Migration has its problems, before you migrate, think twice.”
The immigration lawyer pointed out that relocation was not always smooth and immigrants might be faced with initial obstacles for a few years before being able to settle down.
He added, “My advice is before you japa, think twice. Ask yourself, ‘Am I better off here or will I be better off there?’
“Also, people should know that when you go into a new country, there are lots of teething problems you are going to put up with. It might take months, it could take years before you settle down. The problem we have, I have seen people uprooting their whole family to travel.
“I saw people who had a supermarket in Idiroko, Ogun State. They sold the supermarket because they wanted to relocate to the UK. On getting to the port of entry, the wife had a serious problem, and they cancelled the visa for the father, the children and the wife. So they returned all of them to Nigeria. Where are they going to start from?
“I am not saying people should not migrate, but migration too has its own problem. That’s what people should reflect about. Going abroad is not an end itself, it could be a means to an end.
“People should know that in these countries they are going to, there is a lot of tension. It is not a country where you can get somebody to come and collect your electricity bill, but every month you’re just giving them something, so you don’t pay bill. There is financial tension. That financial tension can create arguments between a husband and his wife, leading to domestic violence.
“There are lots of people who have japa, and they now live a life of misery. They now realised, having reached where they were going, that the greener pasture was not there. I know people abroad facing a lot of different issues, problem upon problem.”