Having studied and lived abroad for 5 years, I believe this puts me in a position to write about this topic and give my own perspective on areas where Nigeria is better than abroad.
Personally, I don’t think living abroad is something you’d want to do for the rest of your life.The biggest flex you can have is right here in Nigeria. It is sure a good place to hustle and have some money, but Africa will always be the main place for me.
The rest of this article will talk about some reasons why life in Nigeria is better than living abroad.
I could remember when I just came home from abroad after having had a two-year streak. A friend invited me to a restaurant on Lagos Island just days after I arrived.Then I went to a fancy restaurant and bought this meat pie for 700 naira (about a dollar or two depending on the exchange rate).When I took a bite of the pie, I had no idea when tears formed in the corner of my eyes.
Are there no meatpies abroad? Of course there are, but they just don’t taste the same.
Food is what most Nigerians living abroad will miss the most, especially if there are no Nigerian cuisines where they live. This is an underrated topic.
You see, the food items in Nigeria are usually of much higher quality and taste. The simple reason for this is that Nigerians tend to use much fewer chemicals on their farms, and things like GMO foods—who is even going to buy that?
Eat a piece of corn in Nigeria and eat the same corn abroad, and you will see that the difference between both of them is like light and darkness.
2. A sense of belonging
See, you are African, and you have black skin. No matter how much you try to belong, it is never going to feel like being among your own people. I know there are incidences of racism, and even Americans who are black experience it.
But let’s look at a situation where there is no racism at all. where everybody treats you well and makes you feel like one of them. At the end of the day, you are still going to be different. You are not among your own people.
It is sort of the problem I have with zoos. You take an animal from its natural habitat in Africa and ship it to a zoo abroad. Now, you really take care of this animal. Give him enough food, top-notch medical care, and all that, but the problem you will always have is that the animal cannot be happy.
It wants to chase its own game and eat, not be fed by someone. It wants to live wild in the jungle, where the dangers are unknown. It doesn’t want to live only among its fellow lions; it also wants to live among elephants, giraffes, and monkeys.
This is the best summary of this situation I can give.
Every country has crimes that are peculiar to it. Nigeria, for instance, has issues with banditry and terrorism that are mostly confined to the north-eastern states. So, as long as you deliberately avoid some places, you are pretty much ok. But you would think living abroad should also translate to fewer crimes, but this is not often the case at all.
We all know about the storied menace of shootings and gun abuse in the United States. I might not have the raw data, but I can assure you that some random people are not going to be shooting at your kids in school in Nigeria.
Even the UK has a knife epidemic where kids just stab each other at random. People have told me that they feel safer in Nigeria after moving there from other countries.But all in all, western countries would be safer than Nigeria. The simple reason is that the speed at which they would react to a crime call is much faster than in Nigeria.
4. Caring neighbors
Nigeria is a closely knit society. People get into other people’s business, and this could either be a good or bad thing, but it is mostly a good thing in my opinion.
Living abroad could be extremely lonely, especially if you find yourself in a cold country like Canada. The snow will not even allow you to go out, and even if you could, it would have to be in public places like churches, work, or a bar.
If I get bored in my house in Nigeria, I can show up at my friend’s house completely unannounced, and it will still be very normal behavior. I can greet my neighbors in the morning, check on them, have a little chat, or laugh. But I sure won’t or can’t do that abroad, as I very well might get a restraining order.
5. There is always someone to help you in Nigeria.
The first thing that most Nigerians who go abroad struggle to adapt to is the fact that they are on their own right from day one. Nobody is going to pick you up from the airport if you don’t make a conscious effort to let them know ahead of time. In Nigeria, just before you take off on that one-hour flight, you can make a call to a friend or relative for pickup, and they will be there when you land.
It is also a common sight in some western countries for people to suddenly find themselves homeless. This is almost impossible in Nigeria. There are not a lot of homeless people around. This is because they could always return to their families or, worse, return to their villages and live there.Everyone in Nigeria has a village and a family house where they can live.
So as a Nigerian or foreigner, if you find yourself unable to pay your house rent abroad, don’t expect that your childhood friend will bail you out. And you can be sure you will not be able to return to your parents, and you could very well find yourself on the streets in the cold.
6. Cheap medical care
I have heard incidences of UK citizens who have to wait for weeks before they can see the doctor. I can assure you that that will never happen in Nigeria. People are often able to see a doctor in a day, even in government-owned hospitals. But of course, there are special medical cases where doctors are fewer, but nothing ever lasts for weeks.
The other thing has to do with the quality of healthcare. Nigeria has good health care practitioners—both nurses and doctors. And Nigerian medical practitioners are highly sought-after in countries like the UK and the UAE. The issue is that we don’t have the facilities and structures like these other countries.
US medical bills are simply outrageous; I mean, the Americans know that themselves.