In 2006, I interned at an Oil & Gas Engineering Servicing company in Victoria Island Lagos, Nigeria.
The workplace provided me with my first work interaction with expatriates (mostly Caucasians but there were some African Americans, Mexicans and Indians).
After 6 months of internship, I noticed quickly how every expatriate had a brand new car, a driver and lived in hotels or service apartments paid for by the company. We Locals on the other hand had to catch our buses to Ogba and beyond and do “Lagos hustle.”
This led me on the quest to investigate a little further (trust Agent Addy lol). During my investigation, I discovered that the expatriates were paid in US Dollars and their salaries were just ridiculously higher than Nigerian engineers.
For example if a local engineer earned 200K Naira monthly ($600), the expatriate was earning at least $12,000 monthly and had a free house close to work, car and other allowances.
Knowing fully well that some of these expatriates were blacks and were not smarter than the Nigerian engineers, I made up my mind that I would leave Nigeria after my BSc degree in search of all the things these expatriates had: FOREIGN EDUCATION, FOREIGN PASSPORT AND FOREIGN EXPERIENCE (Sorry but not sorry ).
I returned to the University after the internship, ensured I made good grades to be able to earn scholarships and left Nigeria in search of my expatriate dreams the same year I graduated.
This is 2019. I follow a couple of “foreign” Nigerians on social media (raised abroad, foreign education and foreign accent), who are now moving to Lagos. They are becoming entrepreneurs (making it big and Lord, I am sometimes left speechless) and some of them end up landing good gigs.
The good news is that I now have all I was looking for, but I have not been able to return back to Nigeria as my sojourn has taken me to another country as an expatriate.
Now throwing it back to you:
– What is your experience like working in Nigeria and working alongside expatriates? For those who left, what inspired you to leave Nigeria?
– What is the rationale behind hiring foreign professionals and paying them a huge amount if Nigerian professionals are as qualified and in some cases more hardworking?
– To move back or not to move back to Nigeria? Resounding yes? Hell to the no? Explain to us, please.