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Nigerian Mass Migration (Japa): Economic Impacts and Government Solutions

The goal na to Japa and pray for Nigeria from abroad.

The above phrase is quite famous. Japa is a term popular among Nigerians, typically for the search for a greener pasture.

Nigeria is one of the largest African countries in terms of population. Its people are known for their entrepreneurial spirit and drive.Mass migration of Nigerians to other countries has been a significant issue for many years. Many Nigerians have decided to Japa (migrate) to other countries in search of better opportunities, higher salaries, and a better standard of living.

Between 2000 and 2021, the migration balance stayed negative. According to Statista, In 2021, the migration rate in Nigeria stood at -0.29 per 1,000 population. This means that the number of people leaving Nigeria is slightly higher than that of those entering the country. One of the main drivers of mass migration is Nigeria’s lack of economic opportunities and high poverty levels. Many young Nigerians see migration as a way to escape poverty and pursue better job prospects and higher salaries abroad. This has led to many Nigerians moving to countries such as the USA, United Kingdom, South Africa, and other developed countries.

In this article, we will explore the effect of the mass migration of Nigerians on the economy and how the government can address this issue.

Effect of Mass Migration of Nigerians on the Economy

1. Loss of Human Capital

Mass migration’s first and most noticeable impact on the economy is the loss of human capital. People move from one country to another using their skills, knowledge, and experience. The departure of many skilled and educated workers has led to a labour shortage in many industries, particularly medicine, engineering, and education. These workers can no longer contribute their skills and expertise to the workforce. The departure of skilled workers has also decreased the economy’s overall productivity and competitiveness.

For instance, some months ago, I had an issue with my bank, that kept me in and out of the bank with it unresolved. The valid explanation a friend who works in the bank could give is that they are short-staffed, as many of their tech guys have JAPA!

2. A Decline in Tax Base

Another effect of mass migration on the economy is reducing the tax base. When people relocate from one country to another, they take their tax dollars with them, reducing the revenue the government can collect. This reduction in revenue can make it difficult for the government to fund essential programs and services, such as health care and education. Additionally, the drop in tax revenue can negatively impact the country’s ability to provide for its citizens, especially in times of economic uncertainty.

3. Brain Drain

mass migration of Nigerians can also result in a brain drain and the loss of highly skilled workers from one country to another, negatively impacting the country’s development. When professional and educated workers leave Nigeria, they take their knowledge and expertise, which would have been valuable to the country’s development. This loss of talent and expertise can make it more difficult for Nigeria to attract foreign investment and develop new industries, harming economic growth. Additionally, the loss of these workers can result in a decrease in the quality of education and research in the country, as well as a reduction in the number of professionals available to contribute to the country’s development.

How the Nigerian Government Can Address the Issue of Mass Migration

The government of Nigeria has a vital role in addressing the effects of mass migration on the economy. The impact of mass migration is complex and far-reaching, and the government needs to address this issue comprehensively and effectively. Below are some measures the government can take.

1. Provision of Better Opportunities

The government can address the effects of mass migration on the economy by providing better opportunities and higher salaries for its citizens. For example, the government can create jobs by investing in industries that are in high demand and that offer good salaries, such as technology, health care, and education.

2. Improved the Standard of Life in the Country

Another way the government can address mass migration is by improving the quality of life in the country. This can be done by improving the infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, and water and electricity supplies, and providing better healthcare, education, and housing. By improving The quality of life, the government can make the country more attractive for people to live and work, reducing the number of people who choose to leave the country.

3. Improving the Country’s Investment Climate

The government can also address the effects of mass migration on the economy by improving the investment climate in the country. This can be done by creating a stable and predictable business environment, reducing the regulatory burden on businesses, and providing incentives for investment. By improving the investment climate, the government can attract domestic and foreign investors, creating jobs, increasing productivity, and boosting the economy.

4. Encourage The Return of Skilled and Educated Workers

The government can also work to encourage the return of skilled and educated workers who have already left the country. This could involve offering incentives such as tax breaks and subsidies to businesses that hire returning workers or providing financial assistance to returning workers to help them start their businesses. By encouraging the return of skilled and educated workers, the government can help reverse the negative impacts of mass migration on the economy.


In conclusion, mass migration has positively and negatively affected the Nigerian economy. While remittances provide an essential source of income, the loss of skilled labour and brain drain can harm the economy. The government of Nigeria has a crucial role in addressing these effects by creating job opportunities, investing in education and training, reducing poverty and inequality, and working with other countries on programs for safe migration.






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