Rather than investing money with traffickers or other unauthorized personnel to Japa (leave the country) and be exposed to all the dangers that illegal migrants face, it is advisable to put the same money to better use by learning a skill, starting a business, or strategically mapping out a route to migrating safely. Migrating, as every other project is expensive and demands a certain level of effort.

There are many programmes and initiatives funded by international organisations and the government which aim to support young people in their effort to secure a decent livelihood without migrating. These programmes range from job training and skill acquisition programmes to credit facilities for young entrepreneurs.

Highlighted below are a list of options you can utilize to excel in Nigeria while considering and mapping out your permanent migration plan.

Obtain a professional certification

Getting additional certifications can position you for higher roles that come with better income and opportunities outside the country. For instance, you can work towards a certification in project management, human resource management, ICAN, etc.

Optimizing opportunities provided by the government and private firms:

The Graduate Internship Scheme (GIS) offers unemployed graduates (with an undergraduate degree) internships in key sectors, including government, small and medium enterprises.

Galaxy backbone and the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA offer the following courses to interested applicants: Digital Economy and the Public Sector, Cyber and Information Security, Development Mobile Application, Emerging Technology for digital communication and network amongst other digital service programmes. The aim of this training is to build tech professionals who will assist in the digital improvement of the country. Check out their websites here and here and for more information.

Getting international opportunities while in Nigeria: This allows you to travel short-term on several occasions or even study long-term. Check out various opportunities at:

https://www.studyineuropefairs.eu/, https://www.internationalscholarships.com/, www.opportunitiesforafricans.com, www.scholarshipair,com or email Hello@scholarshipair.com.

To qualify for these opportunities, it is important to have some pre-requisite skills and qualifications, for example, taking up leadership roles, volunteering with a civil society (NGO’s, AIESEC), working as a research assistant, participating in international competitions and contests, learning to speak a foreign language, professional certifications, having very good grades if you’re still a student, building friends and networks, interning in the private & public sectors, etc. These can qualify you for grants, scholarships and financial opportunities

Acquiring lucrative entrepreneurial and vocational skills here in Nigeria

Many vocational skills constantly get funding and opportunities to go on programs in other countries. Here are a few skills you might consider:

Photography/video making: People love keeping memories from important events with pictures and videos. All that is required is to understand the art of digital photography, be creative, and keep up with new technologies to make your work unique. These characteristics will keep people coming back and referring you for new jobs.

Graphics design: Graphic designers are good at telling stories in images and texts. This skill is often outsourced on a daily basis by novelists, writers, bloggers and magazines. Entrepreneurs also use advert videos and logos to promote their businesses. You can land a gig that allows you to design for a foreign company and earn in dollars. However, make sure to verify your potential employer as some scammers pose as a foreign employer to steal your money and time.

Freelance Writing: There are lots of opportunities for writers. As a freelance writer you pitch your writing to news agencies and outlets who may pay to publish your work in their newspaper, magazine, or online website.The content could be a blog post, content for a website, copy writing, technical write ups, and other written content.

There are apps you can get on for example Fiverr and Upwork. They are two of the biggest platforms for writers, graphic designers and skilled people. Create an account, create gigs and create a customer base. The good thing is you get paid in dollars! But this doesn’t happen immediately, as you need to be consistent at what you do and get good reviews. You might not earn much through the apps, but they can help you build your experience and client base.

Programming/web development: There are online courses to learn this skill for free. There are also lots of competitions for people who code and develop websites. YouthConnekt, Genesys Tech Hub, Girl Lead Project and She Codes Africa(SCA) offer great opportunities to people who are interested in learning these skills.

Other fantastic skills you can learn include:

Fashion designing: If you are creative, trendy and keep up with the latest designs in vogue as well as keep to time, then this industry is definitely for you.

Makeup artistry: This industry is very profitable if you have the skills, are good with colours and have good customer service.

Hair styling: This is a profitable vocational skill that does not require huge capital depending on your plan and location.

Making accessories: Making foot wares, bags etc. can be very profitable. Africans love wearing matching outfits. If you are creative and have interest in designing things you should consider acquiring this skill at your leisure.

You can find sources of funding for your business here: www.smallstarter.com or www.africanleadershipacademy.org

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for personal and career development within Nigeria. Although going abroad by safe means can help you learn new things, you can also find fun and interesting opportunities a lot closer to home. Your health and safety are essential, so if you are unable to travel abroad via safe pathways, please consider these options within Nigeria.

Author: Emmanuella Eze





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