Nigeria is currently experiencing one of its worst socioeconomic crises in decades, coupled with widespread insecurity. The rising food prices and the fear of becoming victims of kidnapping have intensified the desire of many young professionals to migrate, especially through the study route.
The dream of migration, particularly through the study route, is becoming increasingly expensive and unattainable. The removal of the rate cap in Nigeria’s official foreign exchange market in June 2023 led to the devaluation of the naira, causing significant challenges for those planning to relocate. The increased exchange rate has resulted in higher proof of funds, affecting both current and future international students.
Skyrocketing Education Costs:
The devaluation of the naira has significantly impacted the cost of relocation, including school fees, visa fees, and more. Proof of funds for international students has doubled, making it difficult for many to afford their education abroad.
International students are struggling to pay their fees due to the increased exchange rate. Some have resorted to paying in cash from their respective currencies rather than converting to the home country’s currency. This has led to financial difficulties, borrowing, and even property sales to raise funds for education.
In addition to education costs, airfares to popular destinations like London have skyrocketed, further increasing the financial burden on prospective migrants. The reliance on the black market for currency exchange, driven by the scarcity of forex in the official market, has contributed to the overall increase in the costs of international travel.
To compound the challenges, the UK and Canada, popular destinations for Nigerians, have introduced new relocation policies, increased visa fees, immigration health surcharges, and language exam fees. These changes directly impact the cost of immigration for Nigerians, making the dream of migration even more challenging.
Optimism Amid Challenges:
Despite the rising costs and challenges, there is still a high demand for international travel from Nigeria. The optimism lies in the hope that the Nigerian economy might turn a corner in 2024, potentially reducing the urge to migrate among many Nigerians.