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Should you Japa?


According to Albert Camus, the absurd hero is almost indistinguishable from someone who has not yet awoken to the absurd. On the plane of reality, we have the absurd hero going on about living their day just like anybody else. However, the difference is that this absurd hero retains the awareness of the absurd but chooses to live their life despite such cascaded reality. Camus proposes that the only appropriate response to the absurd is to revolt against it; to live on with the knowledge of the absurd. That is, to continue living and searching for meaning, even though the universe will provide none. That is what it means to live absurdly.

Registered as the new patois, the word Japa is rapidly gaining weight among Nigerians. Simply put, the average Nigerian visualizes the meaning of the word Japa as the contingent emigration strategy a Nigerian uses to find a better life with endless survival opportunities in a ‘better’ country.

The colloquial root of the word Japa erupted under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Under his administration, many Nigerians have agitated against exponential hardship. And as Camus has succinctly proposed: the most practical response to the absurd is to revolt against it. Nigerians are revolting against this status quo in three new forms:

  1. Revolting against it through Japa
  2. Revolting against it through Endurance
  3. Revolting against it through Revolution

The Japa syndrome is widespread, like a plague. Both young and old Nigerians are looking for greener pastures with abundant opportunities and, more significantly, security. Nigeria’s rich and average-class citizens do not feel safe with their wealth.

The Japa syndrome has drastically impacted the Nigerian economy as the country is constantly losing its creatives and talents to other countries, especially the United Kingdom. Further analysis of the official immigration data released by the British Government in 2022 shows that the number of Nigerians granted sponsored study visas, also known as student visas, by the United Kingdom has increased by 222.8%.

Let’s digress and ask: Is it worth it to Japa to the UK as many other Nigerians do?

The only way we can approach this question is by empathizing with the travelogue of Nigerians that has Japa. YouTube is a place where several Nigerians upload a report of their differing experiences in the UK. In contrast, these reports usually have similar conclusions.

Reality is not as welcoming in the UK as attractive as the word Japa is when expressed by frustrated Nigerians. Videos of Nigerians are available on multiple platforms who are struggling with their domiciliary care jobs. In retrospect, Nigerians gladly do jobs in the UK that they wouldn’t want to accept in their native country, especially for people who can afford the cost of traveling. Some reports from Nigerians in the diaspora reek of regret but would stick to endurance because, from their standpoint, Nigeria is no longer worth their patriotism.

To play the devil’s advocate, on the bright side, there are a few benefits to this Japa trend among Nigerians:

  • Job Position Replacements


The ‘life will always move on’ mantra takes effect in this scenario. No matter the intensity of Nigerians seeking greener pastures on the other side is not enough to halt continuity. Organizations will always want to remain competitive, and the position of the absentees will require instant replacement, thereby creating more opportunities for the jobless.


  • Economic Improvement


As mass emigration continues, there is always an inflow of funds purged back into the economy. These funds can be saved or invested in various enterprises in the country.


  • International-standard Competition


Labor situations always come with a ripple effect in the global job market. This will motivate companies to raise their standards to the international level.


  • Nigerian Talents Gain World-class Recognition


Emigrating Nigerian talents are constantly striving to look for job opportunities in developed countries. When these professionals display their expertise, they soon begin to gain recognition that naturally adds a positive reputation to Nigeria.


  • Improved Incentive Structure for Employees


The sense of awareness that it’s now becoming the average Nigerian’s dream to Japa will lead to a better incentive structure for employees. Employers would be forced to address prior logged issues by their emigrants to retain their new talents before they consider Japa as well.

Nigeria is a country with great potential, but it’s unambiguously lacking great leaders who are collectively ready to turn the tide. As long as Nigeria’s economic reality continues to decline and the policies continue to be unbearable, patriotism will keep descending to the brink of extinction among the average Nigerian.

How to solve the Japa effect in Nigeria?

Three main factors drive economic growth:

  • Technological advancement
  • Accumulation of capital stock
  • Increases in labor inputs, such as workers or hours worked

It has been empirically established that technological progress is the ultimate driving force of long-run growth. The law of diminishing returns posits that: holding other input factors constant, the additional output obtained when adding one extra unit input of capital or labor will eventually decline. And as a result, any country ultimately compounding more capital and labor will not be able to maintain long-run growth. Technological progress must be the driver of long-run growth.

Is there a solution to the Japa Syndrome?

The truth is that having a skill is not always enough to be invulnerable to the disbursement of economic hardships. Many dexterous Nigerian talents are immolating their patriotism for greener pastures abroad, usually because of underpayment structures and lack of social security. Many of these problems are the responsibility of the Government to overhaul the absurdity Nigerians are revolting against.

Another solution to suppress this Japa trend is to educate Nigerians to be more technologically savvy, and then post-certification, they should be connected to assured opportunities. Our forte at Skillup Africa is to help young Africans learn globally-viable skills and connect them to opportunities.

Why should you Japa when we have what will make you become an embodiment of opportunities attraction at Skillup Africa? Japa, to our website to learn more.

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