Pamela in an email to me (as seen below) has inspired me to put together this post.
I just wanted to write you and say that I have been an admirer of your blog for about three months now, maybe more. I became interested in your web site for reasons to relocate back home next year. I soon started reading your blog and I was really impressed with your opinions and ideas. I now read your blog every other day, and you have become some sort of role model for me in the blog community over all the other well known bloggers.
(Personal brief omitted)
Although I have family in Nigeria and sisters whom just relocated back home. The idea of moving from a comfortable independent zone to a country where major necessities like water and electricity are scarce to say the least is a complete scare. Especially during my last visit to Nigeria, this past Christmas the dramatic change in environment was definitely something new. Also, when I think about NYSC and the disastrous stories I take 10-steps back. No, I’m not a pessimist just a realist, hoping one day Nigeria will be a more self-sufficient country. Don’t get me wrong my hope is definitely not to remain in this country for the rest of my life – NO WAY. There’s no place like home. Lol.
I recently created a personal blog of my own. Check it out – http://of-aberrant-thoughts.blogspot.com/ Finally, I’m really glad you’re a blogger because you definitely have a way of communicating your words to your audience. Keep blogging, my fellow blogger.
Pamela’s is not the first complementary email I would receive, however, it is the one that has cemented the need for me to put together a ‘must answer set of questions’ to help many Nigerians abroad looking to relocate to Nigeria. There are many out there that are either considering coming back to Nigeria or are at an advanced stage in preparing to come back. There are also some that are simply confused with the idea. “Where do I start from? I can imagine most are asking. There is also another category of Nigerians who are not in the least interested in coming back. How they would deal with ‘NEPA’, pot holes, traffic, etc are major concerns to them.
I know for sure that those who are looking or already planning to relocate, would, forgive me for the pun, be tantamount to “one small predicament for Nigeria, one giant plight for you”. Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.
Seriously though, I know how the hearts of your extended family will be gladdened. Personally, I know how my mum feels now that I am in Nigeria, especially after the sudden demise of ‘Soccer’ – my dad. I am now the ‘dad’.
For her to pick up her phone to have a chit-chat, knowing that I am some hours away to her by road, must have probably increased her life span.
The fear of receiving ‘that phone call’ is no longer there. Which is a relieve to be honest! That I can pop in anytime to see ‘mumsie’ is of great value. It is gratifying.
I have also found out, especially now that I am on ground that, our parents do not really need our money – don’t get me wrong, they are indeed grateful for this gesture, they really do appreciate it, but what they need over all is our presence. Depending on the age of your parents, they would rather spend at this stage of their life (my Mum is 70 years of age) plenty of time in the company of their children and grandchildren. It brings the best out in them when they can get to sit and chat endless, and if needed to be said, sometimes ‘meaningless’ conversations with us. However, there will come a time when we would yearn to have those ‘meaningless’ conversations with them. So why not now? I have chosen to make the best use of this time.
Like many out there in Pamela’s position, and as I have mentioned in my reply to Pamela, it is you that must be ready for the relocation first and foremost. Be careful not to put yourself in a position where members of your family have to convince you to make the bold move. That would be dire.
Do you know why?
The moment that INEVITABLE PROBLEM rear its ugly head, the first reaction for you, after falling flat on your face would be to quit the race, which would have been a shame.
But hey, if you had carefully weighed all options before embarking on the journey, no amount of problem would weigh you down. Instead, it would not be seen as a problem but a challenge which you must win to continue on the race.
There are a number of questions you need to ask yourself before you tick the yes box. The following posers need to be considered;
Are you married with or without children?
How prepared are you and your children to move back?
Is your partner in support of your intended move back?
Is your child or are your children aware of your plans? How do you think they would adopt?
Will the family be moving at once?
When was the last time you and your children visited Nigeria?
How long have you been out of Nigeria?
Your children, are they foreign or Nigerian born?
How do you intend to fend for your family – work or business? If its work, are you clear in your mind and have concluded and signed all remunerations? Does it include holidays, family, accommodation and health insurance?
Have you made arrangements for accommodation – to buy, rent or camp with family of friends?
Do you have a car or plan to hitch ride with family or friends?
Would you be selling off all in current abode or plan to ship stuff to Nigeria?
Have you arranged Schools for your child or children?
Have you sat down to consider budgets – how much it would cost a month for the family to sustain a healthy lifestyle?
Have you made a list of areas you would need to set aside a budget – House help, Driver, Security guard, Laundry staff (washer man), Generator(s), Food, Fuel, Traditional clothes, School fees, etc.
If you are single, then you may want to consider the following posers;
Are you currently involved in a serious relationship?
If yes, is your partner aware of your intention to relocate and what is the feeling?
How long have you been outside the shores of Nigeria for?
Are you still studying?
Have you done your NYSC?
How do you intend to survive – work or business?
How do you intend to move about – do you have a car?
Where do you plan to live – plan to buy, rent or go back to parents?
Have you thought of how much you would need to live (and not to survive)?
Have you concluded on a job you are coming to start– have you signed contracts? Are you very sure of remunerations you are entitled to or
Is it business and how vast is your knowledge in the field?
Those are the posers and now to the 20 questions – the LITMUS TEST to determine how prepared your mind is made up for the life changing relocation to Nigeria.
HOW WOULD YOU FEEL IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU? Also on a scale of 0-5, score each scenario.
- There is no power supply for 5 consecutive days.
- You have a car for the family and it breaks down, would you be prepared to hitch a ride on an ‘Okada’?
- You are stopped by the Police or Lagos Traffic Management Authority (LASMA). Would you be prepared to settle out of office?
- School fees. Are you prepared to pay between N180k to N400k per month depending on the school and class of child or consider State school?
- To get to work, you need to wake up as early as 5am to beat the traffic congestion and be prepared to navigate yourself back home through a 2 hour or 3 hour traffic jam every day.
- Your childhood friend keeps you waiting at the reception for over an hour.
- Your junior at school is your senior colleague.
- The internet connection is erratic.
- You are expected to tip at almost every point when either solicited or unsolicited service is rendered.
Your live-in house maid has to go. She is the fifth in six months?
How prepared are you to keep sacking support staff until the right one comes along?
Very rude and diabolical customer service at shops, etc.
Your husband/wife receives the usual glare from admirers.
Your husband has to be out late most nights to network.
If you happen to be broke before the end of the month, would you go a cup in hand to your friend?
The noise from generators, car horns, etc.
Extended family’s responsibilities have shifted to you, now that you are in town.
It is a very expensive town to live in.
Your friends are doing very well. Very well indeed. You are invited to functions. Do you feel out of place and full of regret?
You have a ‘Plan B’ to return. A deadline of between 6 – 12 months if there are any unbearable hitches.
SCORE CARD:80%-100% (You do not need convincing. You appear ready)60%-80% (You are still unsure as you need to tidy up a few things)50%-60% (You definitely need to visit and ask more questions)<50% (You are definitely not ready for the trip. Avoid it by all means)
10 tips from me to you;
- Do not make a hasty decision.
- Consider all options before you consider relocation.
- Ensure you embark upon several visits to Nigeria before D-day.
- Let a partner make the initial relocation (I know it’s tough) to test the water.
- Do not sell off from where you are coming from.
- If you are coming back to set up a business, start now from where you currently reside and perfect it before bringing it to Nigeria.
- If you are relocating to a job, be sure to sign a contract and be clear of all your entitlements.
- Do not relocate without either a proper business plan or a job in hand. If you do, then be rest assured that you will become a visitor on an extended holiday.
- A must have; a car and driver. Another must have is a place you can call home even if it’s just a mattress and a sofa is all you can boast of.
- Don’t announce your home coming. You do not need the added pressure as you need to stay focus from day 1.
Has this been helpful? Are there areas you feel I have not covered? Are there areas you require clarification?
Let me know what you think. Better still, get in touch with me.
Thanks for stopping by and God bless.