Japa Syndrome in Nigeria: 5 Things You Don’t Know

With the state of the economy, many people choose to Japa from Nigeria in a bid to seek a haven to grow and thrive.

They embark on journeys to different countries seeking greener pastures. Thus, they Japa from Nigeria. Japa is a common slang in Nigeria which means to leave for another country.

The current wave of youths moving from Nigeria may have you asking what Japa from Nigeria is all about. Let’s dive into it! 

What Is Japa From Nigeria?

Japa means to flee from an unpleasant situation. The common belief among many Nigerians that the grass is greener in other countries of the world is the root cause of Japa from Nigeria syndrome.

Many sell their assets to Japa via flight or across dangerous sea routes, deserts and rough terrains, in pursuit of a life that seems unattainable in Nigeria.

Relocating from Nigeria has become a norm as many more people are making plans each day on how to move to other countries as individuals or with family via legal and illegal means.

Here are more things to know about Japa from Nigeria.

Facts About The Japa Syndrome

According to the result of the survey conducted by PEW Research Centre,  about 45% of people living in Nigeria have plans to travel abroad in 5 years. The buzz to travel abroad is common among both degree and non-degree holders. 

Skilled workers immigrate in a bid to get scholarship postgraduate studies in country like UK.

Some go to seek better career opportunities, gain professional exposure and escape the insecurity that is ravaging Nigeria. 

There are benefits of studying abroad, but not necessarily to Japa.

There are cases where people leave Nigeria to get better healthcare services in countries abroad and attend international conferences, internship programs and business trips.

After which, they return to Nigeria.

In recent times, the number of people leaving Nigeria is higher than the number of people migrating into the country, with a migration rate of -0.273 in every 1000 population.

The advent of social platforms like Instagram, Twitter and TikTok has tremendously increased the Japa syndrome among Nigerian youths.

There is a lot of information littered on all these platforms on how to Japa. 

However, some of the content found all over the internet on how to japa contains unverified and false information that lands many desperate people into trouble.

That’s why we are here to provide you with relevant information and updates on how you can leave Nigeria legally for study or work

Destination Countries Where Nigerians Japa To

People japa from Nigeria and relocate to developed countries and other developing nations of the world. These developed nations include:

  • United States
  • Norway
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Germany
  • United Kingdom
  • New Zealand

Usually, people japa from Nigeria to developing countries for work and study purposes.

Notwithstanding the tight US immigration policy, World Population Review records that the United States has the highest immigration rate in the world.

The reason why Nigerians are recently relocating to Canada from Nigeria is the Canadian government’s immigration policy to welcome more international migrants.

This way they can mend the cracks in the economy that result from the aged leaving the workforce.

Many Nigerian immigrants cannot afford the cost of travelling to some developed countries of the world.

Therefore, they chose to relocate to developing countries and other African countries in West Africa.

Here is a list of developing countries where Nigerians Japa to.

  • Ghana
  • Tanzania
  • Benin
  • Niger
  • Thailand
  • South Africa

Reasons Why People Japa From Nigeria 

Nigerians Japa mainly to improve their lives by finding better jobs, raising their living standards, escaping insecurity and terrorism, and accessing better economic opportunities.

Nigerians travel abroad to seek a rewarding life different from what they experience in their home country. 

We can categorize the reason people Japa from Nigeria into 5 factors:

  • Poor Economic Condition: 
  • Social Pressure
  • Political, Civil and Religious unrest
  • Study purposes
  • Work purposes

1. Poor Economic Condition

The prevalent economic crises in Nigeria as a result of bribery and corruption are responsible for the massive migration of Nigerians for survival.

Although Nigeria is known as the Giant of Africa, the disturbing economic situation is impoverishing the masses.

Since many Nigerian youths have little or nothing to do to earn a living after spending years studying in schools, this has made Gen Z see school as a scam.

The cumbersome responsibility of taking care of their families and meeting their own needs sends them to the streets to hustle.

In the long run, some of these unemployed Nigerian youths end up becoming a thorn in the flesh of society as they turn to miscreants who cause havoc in the environment while others make plans to japa.

2. Social Pressure

The costly assumption that Nigerians who live abroad enjoy the best of life and are making it big over there has made many people Japa from Nigeria.

Some youths who Japa from Nigeria exhibit expensive lifestyles which end up enticing their friends to Japa.

This distorted illusion among Nigerians about people living abroad causes many parents pressurizing their children to move to the US, UK, and Australia to gain wealth and bring home the assumed better life.

3. Political, Civil and Religious Unrest

There have been cases of incessant kidnapping, killing, banditry, terrorism, and violence. They do not leave both politicians and citizens out in this attack. Gruesome murder happens in broad daylight, even in places of worship.

All these negative occurrences have made both the low income earner and the rich seek safety in other countries.

Some smuggle themselves into the country and become victims of traffickers, all to Japa from Nigeria.

4. Study Purposes

The poor educational system in Nigeria has produced several unemployable graduates.

Many people who have lost confidence in Nigeria’s educational system, Japa to seek study programs in abroad.

The study route is one of the legal means through which people Japa from Nigeria.

5. Work Purposes

The root cause of inflation in Nigeria is the persistent loss in value of the Nigerian naira and the hike in the price of crude oil because of the removal of fuel subsidy.

The removal of fuel subsidy is an enormous challenge for Nigerians, as prices of things keep increasing with little or no raise in salary.

Many Nigerians are desperately seeking ways to escape the current economic situation. Hence, they seek ways to earn more.

They achieve this by applying to work legally or illegally in countries with higher currency value.

To gain financial freedom, Nigerians apply to work in countries like the US, UK, Canada and Australia and these professionals get to Japa from Nigeria to developed countries where they get work as skilled labourers. 

Challenges of Nigeria Japa Syndrome

Immigration can be a major contributor to sustainable development. However, the continuous Japa from Nigeria poses a threat and problem to the economy and the future of the nation. 

These are the challenges that emanate when people japa from Nigeria.

  • Brain drain
  • Poor service and low productivity
  • Leadership problems

1. Brain Drain

Yearly, Nigeria keeps losing a massive number of youths, professionals and families who migrate from Nigeria.

Most of these migrants Japa and never return to the country to apply the skills they have gained in these developed nations. 

Instead, these Nigerian International migrants use their skills, expertise and experiences to solve problems and contribute to the national development of other nations.

Whereas Nigeria remains in a stagnant state and things keep worsening. What a tremendous loss to Nigeria!

2. Poor Service and Productivity

When people with high in-demand technical skills Japa from Nigeria, it results in further decadence in the economic, healthcare and educational system. 

Continuous emigration of professionals from Nigeria will leave behind little or no experts to raise the young professionals.

This will eventually create an undesirable gap in delivering excellent services in all the established systems in the country.

3. Leadership Problems

Another negative consequence of immigration from Nigeria is the wrong leaders will keep being in power.

We will set people who know little or nothing about a specific system as leaders. A typical example of a blind leading the blind!

Since the experienced people who have all it takes to bring a positive change have Japa from Nigeria, those available with little or nothing to offer to suffering Nigerians will eventually get in power and lead.

Solutions To Japa From Nigeria Syndrome 

With the high rate of Japa from Nigeria, we do not lose all hope to restore the confidence of the people in the nation.

Nigerians who plan to move abroad can have a rethink if the country gets better.

Some of the solutions that can cushion the high tide of immigration in Nigeria include:

  • Youth empowerment and provision of employment opportunities.
  • Provision of unwavering support to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME).
  • Create a secure environment for people to live and work in without fear and bring the perpetrators of evil to justice.
  • Improve education quality by upgrading schools with better facilities and resources..
  • Revision and increase in the minimum wage and salary of workers to cater to their needs.

In conclusion…

While the grass may look greener on the other side, the massive Japa from Nigeria has not been favourable to all the migrants.

You might want to look at the last paper syndrome and how you can overcome it in exams.

It is important to make definite plans before you leave your country to work or study anywhere around the world.

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