The United Kingdom has emerged as the premier haven for registered Nigerian expatriates, a fact underscored by the recently launched Data Mapping and Registry Portal by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM).
The portal, initiated on June 29, 2021, seeks to weave together a comprehensive and authentic database of Nigerians living abroad, providing a clearer picture of their dispersion across the globe.
Although the exact numerical scope of registered diasporas remains undisclosed by NiDCOM, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs has pinned Nigeria’s Diaspora population at 1.7 million as of 2020.
A glance at the data made available by NiDCOM reveals that individuals of Nigerian origin have registered from a diverse array of 28 countries on the portal. The United Kingdom commands the lead, boasting an impressive 22.5 percent of registered diasporas, followed closely by the United States of America at 21.4 percent and the United Arab Emirates at 5.4 percent.
The remaining percentages are dispersed across a plethora of nations, each offering its unique blend of opportunities and challenges for Nigerians seeking new horizons. From Qatar to Canada, South Africa to Germany, this diaspora encapsulates individuals carving their paths across the globe.
It is noteworthy that while the United Kingdom leads the tally, the figures also reveal intriguing nuances. The diversity of the diaspora’s global footprint is apparent in the mosaic of percentages associated with various countries. From the heart of Africa to the distant corners of Europe and Asia, Nigerians have woven their stories into a complex narrative of identity, ambition, and resilience.
The disparity in percentages also sparks curiosity, prompting questions about the factors influencing the choices of Nigerians in selecting their global destinations. While economic prospects and personal aspirations naturally steer these choices, a deeper exploration of the underlying motivations would certainly yield fascinating insights into this diverse diasporic community.
The low overall registration underscores a journey still in progress, one marked by a gradual emergence of confidence and connection between the homeland and the diaspora. Abdulrahman Terab, the NiDCOM’s Head of Technology Transfer Innovation, remarks, “Most Diasporas are just gaining confidence in the country. We try as much as possible that the Diasporas register online whenever we have programmes, events, or activities.”
In a world increasingly interconnected and redefined by mobility, the Nigerians in Diaspora Registry emerges as a testament to the stories of individuals who traverse borders in pursuit of dreams and ambitions. It reveals not only numerical distributions but also the aspirations and experiences that transcend geographic boundaries.