Bob Inyang was not anticipating selling his printing machine at Surulere in his quest to relocate his family to Europe.
Inyang had laboured to build the firm for over 10 years. Some years ago, a friend of his had hinted to him of opportunities in Europe, and he decided to take the risk and emigrate.
The father of two had budgeted N4 million as ticket fare for himself, his wife, and his two children at a cost of N1 million per ticket.
He was surprised when he was mandated to ensure that he had at least N21 million in his domiciliary account.
Though he had decided to put his cousin in charge of the printing business, he was forced to sell it in order to raise the money needed to facilitate his relocation.
Ifeanyi Chukwuma, who travelled with his family to Canada recently, said he sold the three Toyota Sienna vehicles he was using to convey passengers from Lagos to Benin to afford airfares to Canada.
“I honestly never intended to sell my vehicles to travel out but with the increase in fares, I am left with no option. After securing visas for myself and my family earlier, we had to wait for the price of the ticket fares to reduce but I observed that the more I was waiting, the more fares increased. So I had to sell three of my vehicles at a total sum of N10 million just to afford the fares,” he said.
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According to him, the cost of airfares from Nigeria to various foreign destinations has seen a sharp rise since the exchange rate for ticket pricing hit over N760/$.
Narrating her experience, Olubunmi Afolabi said she had to resign from her job as a senior nurse staff in one of the military hospitals to travel abroad.
She said: “I resigned from my job and sold my car with other valuables to make up the money for my tickets and that of my two children.
“I had a budget of N2.4 million for our ticket, but the urgency to meet up with my new job in the UK caused us to pay thrice for the ticket. I coughed out N7.2 million just for our tickets alone.”
As living conditions in Nigeria continue to worsen, more Nigerians are willing to leave for greener pastures.
However, the path to migration is not without a price, as many aspiring citizens have had to save for years, sacrificing their basic needs and living in austerity, just to afford the exorbitant cost of relocating to other countries.
Sandra Chuks, presently pursuing her master’s degree in the United Kingdom, spoke to BusinessDay on what it cost her to leave Nigeria.
“The sacrifice for me was leaving my family and my friends and leaving a country that I was extremely familiar with, despite the state of the economy, for one that was still foreign to me. Though I had some of my siblings there, I still was not going to see my friends again,” she said.
“I just was not ready to leave somewhere I was really familiar with,” she continued, “Because I did like living in Nigeria. But then I had to. It was a sacrifice for me.”
Chuks said she spent £15,000 (about N14.43 million), including on school fees.
Samuel Okoh, a Nigerian who got admission to start a master’s degree in Business Management in the UK, said he had to sell two parcels of his family land to enable him to travel abroad.
“I had to sell my dad’s land and a piece of my own personal land to get the resources to come to the UK to study,” he said.