By Augustine Osayande PhD
Nigeria’s weak economy, heightened insecurity and perceived poor governance are the key “push factors” driving the recent trend of Nigerians seeking migration opportunities to Canada.
This was disclosed in the latest study report released by Africa Polling Institute (API)
According to a press statement by the institute’s Executive Director, Dr. Bell Ihua, favourable Canadian immigration policies appeared to also constitute a key enabler and “pull factor” attracting prospective migrants.
“The study highlights that “Canada Rush” stems from the weak Nigerian economy, coupled with the spate of widespread insecurity in the country (push factors). Simply put, Nigerians are not emigrating to Canada because they want to, they are going there because they do not believe Nigeria provides them any opportunities, and security, to thrive as citizens.
“However, on the other hand, favourable Canadian immigration policies (pull factors) are also making it easy for well-educated and highly skilled Nigerians to migrate; and this trend is not likely to abate soon.
“Our study highlights existential gaps in government’s inability to stimulate a strong thriving economy, galvanize an effective security architecture that delivers security to all citizens, and promote institutional reforms to deliver public goods to citizens,” Ihua said.
The Executive Director of API further stated that there is every need to strengthen current policies that stimulate economic growth and development in the country, which will make staying in Nigeria an attractive option.
“At the very least, the government needs to invest more in basic infrastructure and actively tackle corruption.
“Furthermore, the country can position itself to more actively take advantage of its youth bulge to be a hub for technology, industry and manpower development. The government should also strengthen policies and programs aimed at actively managing labour migration from the country by engaging with foreign partners,” he said.
He said Canada had signaled interest to work with Nigeria in this direction with the visit of Canada’s Immigration Minister to Nigeria in May 2018, to engage support from Nigeria’s government to tackle irregular migration.