“Before you japa, think twice” – Immigration lawyer warns Nigerians

Nigerians aspiring to move abroad for better opportunities should heed the advice of immigration lawyer Femi Aina, who is based in the UK.

Aina emphasized that it is important not to sell all their belongings solely for the purpose of funding their travel plans.

In an exclusive interview, he explained that many Nigerians fail to recognize the challenges that come with migration.

Aina highlighted the unfortunate reality that some Nigerians, who have already relocated abroad in search of a brighter future, are currently living in difficult circumstances.

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.”

He stressed that the process of relocation is not always easy, and immigrants may encounter obstacles during the initial years before they can successfully 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.”

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