Nigeria’s JAPA Prospects Dim as Canada Tightens Work Permit for Overseas Students

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Nigeria’s JAPA Prospects Dim over Canada’s proposed restrictions on work for international students may lead to shortages of temporary workers in various industries, including food services and retail. The planned measures, such as reducing allowable work hours, aim to address challenges posed by a surge in international students, linked to rental shortages.

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While Canada is considering additional measures, critics argue that such restrictions may hinder students’ independence and work experience, impacting both the education system and the labor market. The government’s efforts to balance immigration integrity and student contributions to the economy face opposition from student associations and advocates.

“Goodbye Nigeria”: The “Japa” BrainDrain continues

The phrase “May Nigeria not happen to you” echoes the common prayer in Africa’s largest economy, expressing the frustration of residing in a dysfunctional country where even wealth fails to shield individuals from systemic failures. This sentiment has fueled the “japa” wave, a Yoruba term signifying the exodus of Nigerians seeking better prospects overseas. Ayeni Adu, 36, shared his experience, giving away belongings before relocating to the United Kingdom with his wife, contributing to the significant 69% of Nigerians willing to move abroad, as per a 2022 survey by the Africa Polling Institute.

Persistent insecurity, economic challenges, and rampant corruption, highlighted in a pre-election survey by Lagos-based SBM Intelligence, are key issues prompting the wave of emigration. Europe and North America are preferred destinations, with the number of “Worker” visas issued to Nigerians in the UK rising by 399% from 2019 to September 2022. The “japa” wave particularly impacts the upwardly mobile middle class, creating a talent drain, especially in the mid-20s to late-40s age range.

Professionals, including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, are leaving Nigeria’s health sector in search of better working conditions, higher pay, and predictability. The Nigerian Medical Association reports that 50 health professionals leave the country every week. A burgeoning industry supports those wishing to emigrate, offering services such as relocation advice, visa processing, and immigration routes.

Chinwe Iwuanyanwu, a relocation provider, assists Nigerians in optimizing their profiles for international opportunities. As conditions worsen, the desire for a “Plan B” and a better life propels many to explore relocation options. The upcoming presidential election acknowledges the need for radical change, but addressing the talent drain requires a focus on restoring confidence and addressing economic concerns. The “japa” trend has become ingrained in everyday language, reflecting the widespread impact of individuals seeking improved prospects abroad.

Gbenga Samson
Gbenga Samsonhttp://ThisDayLive.com
Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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