“Aba ka Ulọ Mma,” Aba is Better Than Home!

Money Palaver

By George Eze Emeghara

Recently, some one told me that the above statement was what many of the people who migrated from their impoverished villages to the growing commercial town of Aba in the fifties and sixties often pointed out their kinsmen who tried to persuade them to remain in their homes.

In today’s Nigeria,” Abroad ka ulo nma.”
This country has very little to offer to anyone now. Especially young people.

For instance, a young man in Britain where things are said to be quite tough these days, is still better off when compared to most of his peers in Nigeria.

Apart from the fact that he doesn’t have to worry about things like water and electricity supply, if he knows what he is doing he can manage to put aside at least One thousand pounds in a year, even if he has to do two jobs to achieve it.

If he decides to send that money home, that is about one million naira at the current foreign exchange rate.

How many people in Nigeria can save one million of our devalued Naira in one year?
Not too long ago the NDIC( Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation) revealed that only 2 percent of the 70 million bank account holders in Nigeria have more than 500,000 Naira in their bank accounts.

According to the NDIC, “this translates to only 1.4 million people , which is less than 1 percent of the population, meaning that even some of the people in the top 1 percent can’t save.
They live from hand to mouth “.

Nigerians leaving the country in droves.

If 1.4 million people have 500,000 naira in their accounts, the people who have 1 m will be much, much fewer.Indeed as the report pointed out, people are living from hand to mouth.

That is the ” multi dimensional poverty” the World Bank said Nigerians are facing.
This poverty has been compounded by the rising prices of fuel and food. The rising insecurity, poor power supply, decaying infrastructure, compromised institutions and corruption have not helped matters.

People are poor, hungry, disillusioned and hopeless.

Is it any surprise that they are ready to go anywhere and do anything to get away from this place, including walking across the Sahara desert and risking their lives attempting to cross oceans and seas in rickety boats?

My advice to young people these days is that anyone who can leave should leave.
Any how, “Aba ka ulo nma!”