Miss B is both an American citizen and a Nigerian citizen. She also holds a Canadian passport. She’s well travelled and has worked with several companies both in the US and Canada and came home to work in Nigeria.
One day, while having a cup of tea in the dinning hall of an hotel where I had a seminar, I overheard Miss B telling another young lady also attending the conference as I was, why she thinks relocating isn’t a good idea.
She started by saying that relocating is capital intensive and then people leave their “good lives” in Nigeria to pick up nonsense jobs here. She said moving from the unknown to the known isn’t a venture people should consider.
She also mentioned that this country isn’t has beautiful as people expect it to look because they’re met with the rude shock of trying to settle down, pay huge bills and even when they get good jobs, they’re highly taxed.
By the time she was done, I almost choked on my tea because she had just discouraged a young lady who wanted to make a critical decision in her life. She had just told a young lady who had plans of moving to a country that would give her the opportunity to maximize her potentials, she had killed such dreams, and of course coming from somebody who was even a citizen of the same country she wanted to go to, there were high chances this young lady was gonna take her word as gold.
Almost a year down the line, Miss B wants to do some project in Nigeria with another colleague. Government policies are not favourable. The peoples’ attitude towards her project isn’t also helping matters. Even though her project is one that would benefit the poor in the community, the locals are comfortable with living in penury and poverty. They don’t want a change, they don’t want anything that would take them away from their confort zones. Basic infrastructure facilities are unavailable. It’s frustrating, everything she puts into her project hits a concrete wall.
Miss B gives up and sighs. Ha! Is this a country, she asks. I can’t even get anything done. The people are sick and rigid in their old ways. Government policies are not favourable to us. Eventually, gathering her Canada passport, she returns back to one of her options and continues to live her life here.
When she gets here, she breathes a sigh of relief. First, she doesn’t have to battle with the epileptic power supply as she does in Nigeria, the Internet facility is better and she’s even breathing fresh and unpolluted air. Although, she pays taxes, she clearly sees where her taxes are going to.
What’s my point of this post?
At the tip of your fingers, I’m sure you can count the number of people Miss B may have met along her path whom she has discouraged on taking a second option. Unfortunately, Miss B would never go back to meet every one of them and tell them she had changed her mind and now thinks having a second option is good for everyone.
The young lady I overheard her making discussions with and discouraging her is one of such people whom she has sown such seeds to.
This is why I keep saying this and I’d not stop.
Be careful of those who tell you not to relocate but who have second options – people who hold dual citizenship to other countries. While they can pick up their passports and return to a saner environment, their second homes, you’re stuck with one option. Some of them got theirs through their parents who were wise enough to secure their childrens’ future while some went in search for it as adults. However they got theirs, what matters is that they’ve got a options and if Nigerian scatters today, they can pick their bags and move on. Can you?
My aunty is one of those people who fall into this category. She doesn’t see the need to relocate. She doesn’t understand why young people like myself and my husband don’t wanna stay and build Nigeria. I have made her to understand that I can’t build Nigeria. I don’t have the powers and position to do this and the people who can, have a different reality to mine. Unfortunately, she still doesn’t get it.
I have stopped trying to make her see my point. You see, as much as I respect and love my aunty, I would never listen to her advise.
Do you know why?
My aunty is a British citizen. Not just her, her husband, and all her children hold dual citizenship.
I come from a very privileged and educated home. I am one of those who have educated, well travelled and exposed grandparents and we grew up knowing we have families who live abroad- not some distant relatives.
My grandparents were citizens of the United Kingdom, lived and buried in the UK. My dad and his two immediate younger siblings were the only ones who were not born in the UK at the time my grandparents relocated in the early forties. But his other younger siblings, my aunty inclusive, were born in the UK and automatically got their citizenship.
While my dad’s other siblings legalized their own status, stayed and built their homes there, my dad returned back to Nigeria without legalizing his own status preventing us from ever becoming British citizens.
Now, my aunty, her husband and her kids, my cousins can decide they’re tired of Nigeria and go on a vacation to the UK without any bother. All they need to do is to pick their passports and fiam, they’re all gone. Sometimes I am unable to reach her or my uncle, her husband and I’m told they’re vacationing in the UK.
Being British citizens means you have access to 185 countries in the world, and only 33 counties do they need a visa in advance. What this means is that with a UK passport, you hold stake to a country that ranks the fifth global powerful passport in the world.
Let me shock you that Nigeria ranks 84th in the world and this means that you can only access 45 free counties and trust me, 99% of this counties are nothing to write home about; more or less suffering the same misery as their big brother, Nigeria suffers, or even worse.
This is why I’d never listen to my aunty. What option do I have? I’m just as stuck as dead. I can do nothing. Thank God this is all past. I now have a second option.
I don’t know why I’m sharing this, but if you’ve got somebody whom you’ve told about your relocation plans and the person doesn’t want you going or tries to talk you out of it just like Miss B did to that young lady, perhaps you need me to speak to you.
Oh my! I have carried this unpatriotism on my head and I’d tell you a hundred and one reasons why you should give yourself a second option. Maybe not for you, but please do it for your kids. Give them the opportunity to be able to work, live, study anywhere in the world.
Perhaps you need to also check what status this person holds. I love my aunty, and she knows I love her, but I’d never heed her advise. I have gone to get myself a second option, so that when I am sixty like she is, I’d be able to look back at my life, look at the choices and decisions I have made, be proud of them, knowing I didn’t lose an opportunity when it was open.
Not just that, my children would be eternally grateful for the opportunity I gave them. I do not want them asking me what I was doing when this opportunity was open. May I not live this world without securing the future of my children.
Do you agree?