I am going to write about this article based on facts and figures. To do this, I am going to quote a 2012 report released by the Nigerian High Commission in India on the purpose of visits by Nigerian nationals to India.
Per the report, it was stated that for the year 2011, about 25,000 Nigerians came to India. The report further broke down the purpose of those Nigerians’ visits. While this is an old report, it is still very safe to assume that the findings of the report will hold true to this day.
I am usually interested in writing about articles that concern Nigeria and Africa, as I believe our stories are best told by Africans.
Here are the reasons why Nigerians visit Indians: Some of them are the product of a report; others are from my experience with Nigerians who go to India.
The overwhelming reason why Nigerians go to India is for healthcare. Citing the decade-old report, a whopping 20,000 out of 25,000 Nigerians who visited India in 2011 did so because they wanted better healthcare.
While Nigerians have some of the best medical brains in the world, these people cannot stay to practice in the country in their search for better pay and a higher standard of living. This means that for some specialist cases, Nigerians now have to look for other countries to meet their medical needs.
However, not every Nigerian who comes to India based on medical reasons should have come to the country in the first instance. The issue is that the so-called middlemen or health facilitators often tell Nigerians to come to India, even in cases that do not require overseas travel. These guys only get paid when Nigerians come over, so they do everything to get the next client.
There are mild cases that can be treated in Nigeria, but people still go to India anyway. In some instances, there are health cases that are beyond remedy, but people still travel to India anyway.
Nigerians coming to India also pay in American dollars instead of the local rupee currencies, and they pay several folds more than what an average Indian will be charged.
So, truly, Nigeria is supporting the healthcare economy of India. But in recent cases, Nigerians have avoided coming to India altogether due to incidences of targeted attacks.
Not all Nigerians who come to India come there for good reasons; there are some bad eggs as well.
2. Higher education
I currently have her friend who read computer science and finished with a first class in India. Aside from healthcare, education is definitely the number-two reason why Nigerians go to India.
Our higher institutions are often plagued by lecturers’ strikes, which could make a 5-year program run into a 6-year program. So, Nigerian parents, having exhausted options like sending them to North America or Europe or even enrolling their kids in Nigerian private schools, end up sending their kids to some other Asian countries.
The country is huge; there will always be students who will go to India for education, and I will put that number at a couple of thousands.
There are also cases of targeted attacks on Nigerian students in India. It could be because of religion or cultural differences. Of course, there will always be some other factors, like girl-friend snatching, that contribute to the overall picture.
These reports are received at home, and I don’t think Nigerian parents are so open to sending their kids to India as compared to before. When compared to the past, Nigeria now has excellent private schools.
3. Trade and Business
I have been to Nigerian clothing stores to buy items. I bought two Indian brands the last time I went shopping at Abuja’s popular wuse market.I will describe the clothes as functional. not so much about the fashion as about the practicality.
So, yeah, Nigerians go to India to buy clothes and bring them back home. I actually used to personally know someone who was in this trade.
People also go to India to buy gold and other jewelry. This is also another reason why people travel to India, as items like silver are quite cheap there as compared to other countries.
4. Greener pastures
There is a migration of Nigerians to India for the purpose of finding greener pastures. People go to India to seek a better life, but this is not a one-way street. Per the 2012 report as released by the Nigerian High Commission, 300,000 Indians are in Nigeria while there are 50,000 Nigerians in India.
I would assume the figures for India are much higher now as Indian workers often come to Nigeria, and the Dangote refinery, which is poised to be the biggest in the world, employs a lot of Indian workers.
So, Nigerians also go to India to seek greener pastures, but the fact of the matter is that there are at least 5 to 6 times more Indians in Nigeria. It is a mutual migration.
5. Bad eggs
Yes, I’m not going to come out here and fix everything.Some Nigerians have actually given the country a bad name in India. There are people who obtain visas under different guises but who have different purposes in India.
There are Nigerians who have been caught doing drugs in India. There are Nigerians who have been caught trading drugs. There are Nigerians who are also into prostitution. And lastly, there are Nigerians who assume the identities of foreign or Indian men and defraud Indian women under the guise of marriage. I mean, marriage is really a big deal for Indian women.
While we can add other reasons, like tourism, the above-listed reasons are why Nigerians go to India, and they have been listed in order of importance.
Check out our other posts related to India and Nigeria.
- [Factual] Is Nigeria richer than India?
- [Factual Analysis] Is Nigeria safe for Indians?
- Life in Lagos for Indians [A real life analysis]
- Why Nigerians come to India [FACTS ONLY]