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Is the grass really greener? Reasons to rethink your japa plans

The world is burning down and Nigerians' best residential option may just be their home.

Skepta and Portable [PM news]

Few months down the line, End-SARS, Twitter Ban, and worsening security and economic challenges have led many young Nigerian citizens to consider relocating, seeking greener pastures elsewhere.

However, before you pack your bags, it's crucial to consider the global economic climate. From the Eurozone to America, major economies have faced significant crashes in the past year, highlighting the unpredictable and unstable nature of the international landscape.

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In the UK, one of Nigerians' favourite places to relocate to, inflation stands at a high rate, driven by rising energy and food costs. This has eroded real wages and created a cost-of-living crisis for many families. Additionally, the fallout from Brexit and global supply chain disruptions continue to impact UK businesses and trade. The UK is predicted to be facing a recession, and while some experts suggest that economic recovery is likely to be slow with the potential for long-term impacts.

Canada's economy is facing a period of mixed signals. On one hand, there's strong job growth and low unemployment, suggesting economic resilience. However, inflation remains stubbornly high, driven by lingering supply chain disruptions and the impact of the Ukraine conflict on energy prices. The rising interest rates implemented by the Bank of Canada to combat inflation are cooling down the overheated housing market. This combination of factors points to a potential economic slowdown, with experts predicting a mild recession in the near future.

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The US economy is currently in a state of flux. While it experienced strong growth in 2021 following pandemic-induced lows, rising inflation has become a major concern. The Federal Reserve has implemented a series of interest rate hikes to curb inflation, but these actions risk slowing economic growth. While the job market remains relatively robust, there are signs of cooling.

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Closer to home, the Naira's depreciation against the dollar (currently at ₦1620 to $1) might seem discouraging. But this could also present opportunities. While it impacts import costs, it creates a potential advantage for export-oriented businesses.

Interestingly, a unique trend is emerging: "IJGBs," Nigerians born abroad, are increasingly returning home to tap into the vibrant Nigerian market and capitalise on their cultural connections. Katy Sade, Tiwa Savage, Lola Pedro, Eno-obong Ekpro, Adesuwa Aighewi, are a few examples of already-thriving Nigerians who made the decision to have a home-based presence, and this evidently boosted their brands and businesses.

In a random convrsation with Adesuwa, she revealed that pieces from her fashion brand, Legacy World, are purely inspired by her adventures in Nigeria, suggesting that the Nigerian experience inspires unique creative ideas that can be globally monetised.

This phenomenon suggests the potential within Nigeria, especially in the booming creative economy.

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Nigeria's creative industries, encompassing Nollywood, music, fashion, and more, are garnering global recognition. International audiences are embracing Nigerian content and talent, fostering collaborations and opportunities for local creatives.

Kanye West, the global creative king, was recently spoted with Mowalola Ogunlesi, a Nigerian-born fashion designer, at the front seat of a fashion show with communication gestures that signalled sharing of ideas. Mowalola had also earlier announcd her new role at Kanye's thriving brand, Yeezy. There is a global rush for Nigerian creatives, even Portable has found a place in London from Sango Ota.

The global creative economy, estimated at $2.25 trillion, is a rapidly growing sector. Nigeria, with its rich cultural heritage and innovative spirit, has the potential to become a major player in this space.

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Imagine a future where Nigerian creativity becomes a valuable export, driving economic growth and creating jobs for millions.

However, while the creative economy holds individual promise, it's essential to be realistic. It's unlikely to be the sole "saving grace" for the entire Nigerian community, and maybe its time we prosper as individuals. Systemic challenges like infrastructural deficiencies and social inequalities require comprehensive solutions beyond individual economic success.

Before making life-altering decisions, consider the complete picture. While the world is indeed facing uncertainties, Nigeria's cultural richness, entrepreneurial spirit, and emerging creative potential offer a compelling counterpoint to the narrative of "greener pastures elsewhere."

Perhaps, finding a creative passion here at home, and seeking foreign collaborations might be the most empowering path forward for individual Nigerians.

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*Pulse Editor's Opinion is the viewpoint of an editor at Pulse. It does not represent the opinion of the organisation Pulse.

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