• Monday, April 15, 2024
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How Nigerians can migrate to Canada swiftly – High Commissioner

Nigerians among most successful in Canada – High Commissioner

James Christoff, Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria has revealed important tips for Nigerians looking to migrate to Canada.

Speaking at a special visit to Lagos Business School on Tuesday, Christoff said for people looking to move to the country for work, they should research the skills that it is offering and make sure that it matches the skills that the country wants.

“If there is an alignment there, the process is such that it’s fairly straight forward but you have to be patient. The process is there to align your skills with what we need in Canada. Many Nigerians have taken this path,” he said,

He said Canada has a population of roughly 40 million and is the second biggest country in the world in terms of land mass with six time zones.

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“It’s a massive country. But to drive that economy, we need skill and unskilled labour, students, thinkers and doers of tomorrow. We are very deliberate on what we need and who we need,” he added.

According to the commissioner, the country’s geography helps them to pick and choose the people coming into the country. “We have to do this to keep abreast of our own economic growth.”

Canada’s aging population and lower birth rate has been shrinking its labour force, forcing the country to intensify its efforts to attract large, young and vibrant immigrants by offering immigration-friendly policies.

Last year, the Canadian federal government announced an aggressive plan to take in 500,000 immigrants a year by 2025, with almost 1.5 million new immigrants coming to the country over the next three years. In 2022, the country landed 437,120 Permanent Residents (PRs), a nearly eight percent increase from the total number of PRs in 2021.

In the first half of 2023, the number of Nigerians moving to Canada surged to the highest in nine years. Data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada shows that it recorded 10,180 PRs from Nigeria in H1, a marginal increase of 0.74 percent from 10,105 in the same period of 2022.

Higher education and work are the major principal conduits of permanent emigration. But Nigeria’s current realities such as high inflation, unemployment and fragile economic growth have now made it a major reason why its citizens emigrate to other countries for greener pastures.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s inflation, which measures the rate of increase of commodity prices, quickened to an 18-month high at 25.80 percent in August.

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Last year, the NBS put the number of Nigerians living in multidimensional poverty at 133 million, compared to 82.9 million considered poor in 2019 by national standards.

Apart from PRs, India (175,021), Nigeria (43,482) the Philippines (21,902), China (14,975) and Nepal (12,776) were among the top five source countries of new international students coming to Canada in H1, according to IRCC.

“Education is a provincial mandate. It’s not a national or federal one. Our provinces manage their educational institutions. And sometimes, certain provinces provide programs or incentives that attract foreign students,” Christoff said.

“Many foreigners choose to stay in Canada after studies. And the reason why they stay is because they enjoyed their time while studying and most specifically, we offer a path to stay in the country,” he added.

He noted that the country is very distinct from their American and British counterparts which have been prime destinations for Nigerians. “But in Canada, there is a path to stay after graduation.”