To any casual visitor to Murtala Muhammed International Airport any evening, you would wonder the mass of people in the departure area.
The wonderment may mostly be because people complain that life is hard and there’s no money in the land to travel on holidays, except for the few rich. So how come these same complainants have money to splash on flight tickets when the prices of such tickets have hit the roof?
A good look will show you that these passengers don’t look like the very rich. They are mostly professionals with families and in fact their children are running around the hall waiting for the check-in formalities.
What we know now is that many families are ‘checking out’ or relocating abroad in search of what they say is better life.
While there’s the impression that Nigerians have problems getting visas to travel abroad, it looks like those seeking to migrate are not having such difficulties. Otherwise, how do whole families acquire visas – father, mother and children – to go and stay in another country? I hear that business is booming for immigration lawyers and agents who are helping to facilitate these applications.
Some countries which have made public show of rejecting migrants seem to be encouraging Nigerian professionals to bring their expertise and knowledge to develop those countries.
Some of our friends who have taken the bait tell you since they are not appreciated at home, why should they shun opportunities to relocate to places where their children will have access to better upbringing and facilities? They complain of insecurity, economic hardship and company failures, unfavourable government policies, poor infrastructure like roads, power, water, etc. But these same people have been in this country all this while.
Young and middle age men and women of between 28 and 50 are on this train. I even heard that some friends who have retired have moved abroad. These are the over 60s.
The preferred destinations of these ‘Andrews’ seem to be Canada, Scandinavia, even faraway Australia and UAE. The United States which used to be a choice destination has gone to the bottom of the list due primarily to President Donald Trump’s anti-migrant policies.
Top professionals in Education, Medicine, IT and Economic Policy head the movement of those who think it is better and greener out there. To some extent, it is true that life can be more comfortable in Europe and  North America. But can those places ever be ‘home sweet home?’
I have some friends who cannot help but come home to Nigeria at least once a year. These people complain of tough life in the Americas and Europe and they just need somewhere homely and homey every once in a while. They keep asking questions about ‘home’ and they ensure they build a house or two in Nigeria for when they re-relocate to the land of their fathers. Or where they will be buried – because many of our friends still believe it is the tradition to be buried in your homeland.
Well, hope such people will not turn our country into a cemetery, fit only to be buried in.

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