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Move Back To Nigeria: “The Bottom Line is the Lack of Quality & the Fact that We Accept Mediocrity” Julian Obubo Shares His Views on Why Nigeria is Not in His Plans



Move Back to Nigeria is a new series on BellaNaija. The aim is to encourage young and not-so-young professionals in the diaspora who are trying to make the decision of whether to move back to Nigeria. In collaboration with the brilliant team at, we hope to bring you a weekly interview with individuals who have successfully made the leap. The idea is to share their successes and their challenges as they made the decision.

A lot of Nigerians in the diaspora have questions about making a change at home in Nigeria. Many suggest really good ideas on how to make things better; others would like to contribute to making a difference back home but are just not sure where to begin.

We recently explored the flipside of the ‘MoveBacktoNigeria’ initiative by featuring a UK based finance executive who discussed his reasons for choosing to remain in the UK. This week in the same vein, we interview Julian Obubo, a young public relations & Media Practitioner in the UK who shares his journey so far. He shares some insights regarding the PR Industry, his academic & professional experiences, why he is not ready to move to Nigeria just yet and his take on moving back.

Can you briefly introduce yourself?
I’m Julian Obubo, a young creative, living in London and working as a Public Relations account executive.

When & why did you leave Nigeria?
In 2002, my dad got a job in The Netherlands working for an EU funded agricultural program so the whole family had to move which is when and why I left Nigeria. I have lived abroad ever since.

Tell us about your educational history.
I attended an international secondary school in Holland and afterwards, left to the UK for my undergraduate degree primarily because growing up, I had always hoped and planned to study there. I got into the University of Sunderland to study Public Relations (PR) which particularly appealed because it was a maths-free course and then I decided to specialize further in PR as I had thoroughly enjoyed the course and so pursued a Masters degree in PR at the University of Newcastle. During the Masters degree, I developed a love for gender and race studies as it gave me the breath to undertake research in these wide-ranging topics that were not directly related to public relations. This was a God send because I was now able to devote my energies to a passion of mine which is the culture of hip hop music. Admittedly, a lot of people do not see the value in it but I do, because I think culture (of all forms and nuances) is what sustains us as human beings and in many ways is what differentiates us from animals.  All of this has contributed to the person I am today.

These are fascinating perspectives.  Did you move on to start your career in PR straightaway?
No I did not. I moved back to The Netherlands after graduating in 2010 and my initial plan was to undertake a PHD in gender studies. So I applied and got accepted on the PHD program at The University of Leeds but being that I’m not British, it was very difficult for me to get the required funding meaning I would have had to pay for it all myself which I could ill afford at the time and so the PHD plan was abandoned and I decided to move into what some people call ‘the real world’ by returning to the UK and getting a job in Public Relations.

Some may call that tweak in plans part  of the ‘vagaries of life’. How then, did your career take off?
I had undergone some internships in a few PR firms while I was an undergraduate. I worked at The National Glass Centre in Sunderland and also had another internship for a small PR agency in London and so I had garnered some hands on experience and knew the basic mechanics of public relations although nothing substantial. I also had a 3-month internship at the London branch of Cohn & Wolfe, part of WPP which pretty much owns about half of global advertising. It was a very worthwhile experience as it opened me up to the fast-paced nature of the big business media industry. It was exciting, fascinating and fun and further sealed in me a desire to pursue a PR career.

How difficult was it for you in the labour market, considering you are not British and had moved back to The Netherlands and had to move back to the UK to job hunt?

I was quite worried about the process especially considering the fact that I had already left the country and gone back to The Netherlands. But in reality, it was quite straightforward.  I put the word out that I was job-hunting and also got in touch with a contact from my time at Cohn & Wolfe who happens to be quite influential in the London PR industry.  Fortunately for me, he basically introduced me and recommended me highly to my current boss, who then brought me in for a work experience stint after which he offered me a full time job during a lunch meeting at Nandos I might add. The rest as they say, is history.

Tell us about your company and what your role entails. It all sounds pretty exciting so far.
I work at a PR agency called Manifest, a relatively small company which has grown considerably in recent times. We like to say we are ‘Industry agnostic’ which means we are very careful about the companies we represent. Our clients range from consumer goods, B2B, medical to finance, alcohol companies and so on. We are bold, edgy, brash and our underlying ethos is to disrupt the status quo. There are no dull days as it’s exciting but challenging and very much rewarding, especially when clients give us positive feedback and we know we have satisfied them. In PR, the end game is to get coverage for your client and my job as an account executive involves successfully managing the relationship between my clients and journalists in a nutshell.

PR has become hugely popular but not a lot of people understand the ‘inner workings ‘and ‘lifespan’ of the profession. Does the possibility of career progression & longevity exist?
To a large extent, in PR, career progression and longevity does depend on the company you work for. In smaller companies for instance, career progression is quicker and in bigger companies, slower. Ultimately, it is all down to the hard work you put in, which reflects in the coverage you get. Your clients must be satisfied at all times and that’s when promotions come, that’s when bonuses come and that’s when awards come. By its very nature, PR is the sort of field where a meritocracy exists and your hard work definitely pays off.

On a different note, do you see yourself ever practicing PR/MEDIA in Nigeria?
Despite the fact that I’ve lived away from Nigeria for over a decade, I‘m grateful for the fact that I’m able to visit from time to time as I am quite fond of the country and  I also keep in touch with what’s happening there. However, my views like those of any well-meaning Nigerian are not positive and whilst we may rail about these problems, in some ways, we are complicit. I do not see myself working there but I’m neither opposed to it nor against it. We have a hunger to develop and are blessed with highly skilled people whose skills should definitely be utilized by the nation. Ultimately, I do not think I will ever move back but if the situation presents itself, then I’m not against it.

What change(s) would you like to see in Nigeria which could inspire you to move back?

My biggest issues are related to infrastructure and development and these include issues such as housing, transport, health care, security lapses and so on.  If there are improvements and innovations in these areas, there will be a positive bearing on the quality and standard of living which would go a long way towards inspiring many diasporans to return home.

If you indeed moved back, there’s NYSC to consider. What are your views on this scheme?
After graduating from university, I actually considered moving back to go participate in the NYSC scheme so I could work in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as I liked the idea of representing Nigeria internationally. However I was very put off by such things as the appalling hygiene standards for instance, which would put prisoners here to shame and also the lacklustre job market post NYSC. Having said this, I can see the social benefits of the NYSC scheme itself as it tends to broaden one’s knowledge of hitherto unknown parts of the country and it can also be looked at as some form of charity. However, moving forward, the scheme needs to be reviewed and revamped if the government intends for it to remain relevant and beneficial to all parties involved.

As an industry insider, what is your take on the media/communications industry in Nigeria?
As big an industry as it is, it is depressingly below standard. For instance when I go visiting and have to watch TV, I am saddened by the lack of quality and the appalling low standards of delivery: From the news studios to the staff delivery and everything else. There are obviously exceptions to this but the truth is that there overwhelming abundance of half-baked journalism, with media output below par. The bottom-line is the lack of quality and the fact that we accept mediocrity. Nigerians need to learn how to demand quality and professionalism from any service provider. We are too accepting of sub-standard products and services and this has to change. I have seen articles and supposedly serious news publications in major national Nigerian news houses that actually credit Google and Wikipedia!

So as a well-trained Nigerian in this sector, do you feel a need to go back to contribute to Nation-building?
Not necessarily.  Whilst it is something I would like to do eventually, at some point as I’m definitely not ruling it out, I believe as individuals, we have responsibilities to ourselves first and foremost to do what feels right to one’s self. I do not agree that all Nigerians need to go back home because I believe there is enough willpower and brainpower in Nigeria to improve things. We will get there eventually and when we do, it will be done by people on the ground. There will always be that free movement of people moving out of Nigeria and moving back in, due in no small measure to globalization and we should regard it as something that can impact positively on the country.

 Thanks for your time and best wishes moving forward!

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  1. Retrochic

    June 28, 2013 at 10:22 am


    • Saved By Grace

      July 1, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      nigeria is not in his plans…ok, but himself is not in nigeria’s plan…EOD.
      summary: plan for urself.

  2. ms lala

    June 28, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I love the idea…the Brain Gain ideology…but my issue is the system Nigerians run on…The who do you know, what is your father’s name and which family are you from to get a job,the job that pays the amount of what you earned abroad. If working for an international company the system and standard probably will be different and will be based on school, level of degree and a strong resume..but seriously I don’t advise anyone to run back home and expect a job BAM!!!!! like that. Again security comes to in all levels..females who relocate expect a slight sexual harassment in the work it physical, verbally or even the ambiance of the office. It’s sad but true that the basic securities provided in the western world won’t be available in Nigeria and so I salute those who have enough balls to take that leap and head back home

  3. Zero

    June 28, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Almost a decade and e never get british passport? people dey wen don get am in just 4years sef..Oga too follow book, dats y…e get 1st class for bsc and e for go schools like oxford or imperial bcoss e for no need any connection for work at all…guaranteed…we all need a broader view in life men…PR!!!!!!!!!!!

    • P

      June 28, 2013 at 11:27 am

      And what you said shows your views are broad?? 🙂

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      June 28, 2013 at 11:47 am

      You sound ignorant about how the specific details of UK immigration works (particularly with regard to 3rd party nations who move to EU member states and eventually move over to the United Kingdom, exit & re-entry conditions, etc.). Also? He maybe wasn’t planning a 10 year stint in the UK for the sole purpose of claiming a British passport. Not all Nigerians think like you.

  4. Sunshine

    June 28, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I enjoyed reading his realistic opinion, but i can’t help but wonder just how optimistic he would have been if he hadn’t gotten the referral (aka connection in Nigeria) which put him in his current position. Truth be told, unemployment is a challenge in every part of the world, the notion that its ‘easier’ to get a job in Europe or North america on merit, than it is in Nigeria is what i often disagree with, as i know too many UK and US educated individuals, myself included; who applied unsuccessfully for jobs abroad. The harsh reality is that a non-immigrant recruit will never be a priority over an immigrant recruit in any developed country, so why stay a second class citizen in another man’s land despite my qualifications, when i can work in an environment; mediocre or sub-standard or whatever; where at least i’m not reminded of my ‘alien’ status everyday?

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      June 28, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      “The harsh reality is that a non-immigrant recruit will never be a priority over an immigrant recruit in any developed country, so why stay a second class citizen in another man’s land despite my qualifications, when i can work in an environment; mediocre or sub-standard or whatever; where at least i’m not reminded of my ‘alien’ status everyday”… Babes, this your “harsh reality” isn’t everyone else’s harsh reality and I don’t know why people keep trying to sell this fallacy as the norm, when it really isn’t. It wasn’t a harsh reality for me, it wasn’t a harsh reality for many Nigerians & non-Europeans I know (some of who were landing amazing gigs even during the downturn of the UK economy between 2008-2009), many people get hired on the basis of competence and development potential with no regard of the shade of their skin and the color of their passport.

      Second class citizen? I laugh in Ibo. Nobody treats me like a 2nd class citizen. Actually, let me re-phrase that: dem no born anybody well (& I don’t care if your last name is the same as Mama Charlie’s) for them to bring that 2nd class citizen BS near me and yes, my passport is as green as Ugwu leaves. When I’ve paid taxes and carry out my responsibilities as a legal resident? The only 2nd class citizens in any developed nation are illegal immigrants, asylum seekers and people with no recognized legal status.

      I don’t understand all these references to an alien status. No Nigerian should allow anyone stop them from walking with pride in any country where you’re a legal resident. I don’t care if you work in MacDonalds or Goldman Sachs. When the white man came to Africa, was he made to feel ashamed? I refuse (REFUSE!!) to see myself as either an alien or a 2nd-class citizen, for wetin?? For what reason??? This is what I learnt from my Aunt who’s worked around the world and now lives in the UK. She used to get asked this question a lot when she first started working in the UK – “so when do you think you’ll be going back to your country?” until she got fed up and one day she started responding them with – “well, whenever I think I’ve collected all the things which were taken from Africa after the explorers arrived, I’ll start considering a return”. Nobody ever asked her that foolish question again. The moral of this story – never allow the color of anyone’s skin intimidate you, the minimal impact you’re causing to them by living in their so-called Western Nation is a tiny drop in the ocean compared to the economic rape that was carried out on Africa (and is still being carried out on Africa) by the West. 2nd-class wetin??

    • Seye

      June 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      The Lord will bless you. I just typed the same thing you said. Only to refresh the page and see your comment. My face broke into a big smile. Thumbs up girl. Sister, preach it, preach it make dem hear. This pity me, pity me mentality, it is not my fault I did not make it but the oyinbo man’s fault is the mantra of losers. Pardon my French. 2nd class citizens indeed. Make I no laugh abeg. The kind of education I have, the job I have, plus living in my own house plus the fabulous lifestyle that comes with it, even millions of the so called 1st class citizens don’t have it and I am an immigrant. Oluwaseun for that, everyday I am thankful. To Him be the Glory that I refused to drink that kool-aid when I got here and some old uncles and aunties were selling me BS. Just because you haven’t made it yet and you still will, your journey may be longer than some, but you won’t commot for your doormot and breakthrough the surface if you don’t drop that mentality like a hot plate. Bless you Ms Socially awkward. I for want vex before but you don cool my body down. Lol

    • FBI

      June 28, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      i love you Mz Awkward muah!


      July 1, 2013 at 12:45 am

      @ Socially Awkward! thank you oo! if an oyinbo person talks to you anyhow its best to blast and wash them right there and there. i would not be oppressed because i am black. the moment you let the oppression happen, they are winning
      if you have your education, first degree and masters there is not reason for you to accept people treating you like an alien. nobody can force me to move back to a place with bad roads, no electricity and just bad all over. not everyone can live in LEKKI so yes i dont want to leave my creature comforts to suffer in the prehistoric like conditions that are in nigeria. i would rather move to Asia or stay in Europe. you need to hold your government accountable and tell them to stop giving their kids the money meant for building the world AND IF YOU FATHER IS IN THE GOVERNMENT HE IS A THIEF.

  5. Walkthetalk

    June 28, 2013 at 11:29 am

    @zero, ‘d people wey don get am in 4 years sef’….. did they tell you exactly how they got it? (BN where’s the icon for raised eyebrow). I didn’t think so either. kmt long and hard mchewwwwww

    Read very well he was in between the The Netherlands and The UK!

  6. Tess

    June 28, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Yes mediocrity may be the culture in Nigeria, but if all Diasporans will replicate in Nigeria what they see overseas, we might get it right. Sadly Diasporans become part of the problem when they get to Nigeria because they don’t want to make the effort to do the right thing. Nigeria will not get better until Nigerians, home and abroad, begin to do better. My 2 kobos.

    • apt

      June 29, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      I think BN needs to make a new feature called WHY DIASPORANS DONT WANT TO RETURN HOME – sorry babe you are missing the point, nigerians back home have not accepted diasporans because they feel they are a threat to them. I am an employer of youths in nigeria and should I say every penny I have spent in nigeria is what I have made here, when I am in nigeria pple feel threatened (just to clarify, I am a very humble person never displaying the razz way some pple from diaspora do – just to be clear) instead of them to embrace what I have done, I did not get any connections to be a rich woman in the UK or naija, I worked dam hard for my money here in the UK through Almighty God, my qualifications, that’s why I could relate to the last interview from the investment banker in Deutcshe Bank, we are not all washing toilets here, God has put brilliant nigerians on top of their game. I cant begin to mention global banks I have worked with , international connections I have made etc but in Nigeria its never embrazed rather they feel you are a threat, so how can we contribute. Pls tell me jor! I have seen diasporans leave here in the UK to try and make it in naija, most of them are back again because they were not given the opportunity to integrate rather pple keep on asking them what are they doing in naija, common!

  7. Tolu

    June 28, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Interesting interview. I enjoyed reading it. I agree with a lot of what he said. The NYSC part in particular caught my attention. That alone is enough to discourage one from returning to Nigeria. I know there is no way on the face of this earth I’ll be returning to do NYSC under the current conditions. I do not see myself returning to Nigeria anytime soon. Not in my radar at all. But if I ever did return, it would have to be as an Expatriate. Nothing less. Even if it’s to avoid having to do the NYSC. If it’s about giving to Charity I can do that in so many other ways, but NYSC is off the table.

    As he summed up, …as individuals we have responsibilities to ourselves first and foremost to do what feels right to one’s self.

    • lorenz

      June 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      I wonder why you find camping, and teaching primary or secondary scho0l students so apalling. You stay there and diagnose/analyze/dissect all of Nigeria’s problems; and forget that you are part of Nigeria. When and if you decide to come to Nigeria as an expatriate, you’ll be a dark skinned expatriate; and then when you say your name, there’ll be one more reason to treat you like every other Nigerian. So sweetheart, wake up and smell the coffee. By the way; how much be your salary sef, wey you feel say we no fit pay am?

    • slice

      July 1, 2013 at 3:52 am

      i think they are both referring to the disgusting bathrooms….not to teaching students or whatever NYSC work you are giving. My friend threw up the first day she landed in camp and if what i’ve been told about the places looking just like my boarding sch, then I pray that by the grace of God who made me nothing nothing nothing will make me stay in that camp

  8. sallysueee

    June 28, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    The UK, US and all these western countries can be such a wonderful place to live and you might even forget the realities of life if you have a good job and secured so i understand where hes coming from but when your passport is a problem and no company is willing to hire you and you are forced to live like you have never entered a university classroom before, then moving back will start looking very good to you. i wonder what his views about moving back will be if he had not gotten his friend to recommend him(the whom you know effect)

  9. Seye

    June 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    @Sunshine – Well it is and that is the truth. Merit is the order of the day abroad while connections represent a minority. That is a FACT if you want to be objective and don’t join the oyinbo people hate us bandwagon. There are millions of immigrants from Nigeria working in many industries all over the wolrd especially in developed countries who got their jobs on merit. Millions. You can’t say the same if you compare that same number to Nigeria. If I start to list people that I know myself included who could not make any headway in Nigeria because we don’t have connections, and how well we are doing abroad where no one knows who our parents are, this comment box will not contain it. Many of us just buy into that nonsense of oyinbo people don’t like us, racist this racist that. You get sold the same garbage by ne’r do wells when you arrive and before you know it you too start to believe it and cycle continues. Misery loves company. The Samuel guy VP in Deutsche bank 2 weeks ago, his father is the owner of the bank abi. Commot road abeg, and stop spreading the nonsense gist. Oya, you are a first class citizen in 9ja and how does that translate into a better life for you. What does your 9ja passport do for you in 9ja. Does it give you light, clean water, good hospitals, good education for your child, secuirty, stability. How many of you guys own your own homes, no be so so rent rent. Who is reminding you of alien status? I sure am not and my contribution is highly regarded plus rewarded handsomely. When we stop carrying chips on our shoulders and let go of prejudices you will see how bright and beautiful the world can be. The colour of your skin should not deter you from progress, except you believe that it will. Obama is president today, stop with the racially motivated excuses. I am just tired of all this first class vs 2nd class citizen talk. I haven’t qualified to change my passport yet but I have felt more like a “first class” citizen in another man’s land than in my own where as my papa no be big man I am treated worse than “3rd class” citizen sef. This series has highlighted two things – Nigerians are ballers and major players abroad, no be all of us dey do menial jobs and it makes me glad and proud to read about my fellow countrymen because it decimates the stereotype that only the good jobs are for white people. The other thing it highlights which these movebacktonigeria people are refusing to add is that for thsoe who have come back they can talk about their story because they had solid connections. You guys should not deceive people abeg. Address that fact otherwise you are chasing smoke. I can also tell stories of people I know who moved back because of immigration issues and family who have not done so great because of lack of connections to secure those big jobs or big business deals. Stop peddling half truths.

    • slice

      July 1, 2013 at 3:55 am

      fortunately or unfortunately, connection matters everywhere. I just referred someone for a job and she got it. na connection be dat. even in the work place in the U.S., to move ahead in your job, u need to be well connected if not you’ll be working hard and Joe will be getting the promotions even though he’s always on vacation..

  10. Kenny

    June 28, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    True talk. If a product is sub standard or poor quality, don’t buy it or patronize it. Enough of MEDIOCRITY in Nigeria.

  11. Julian Obubo

    June 28, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Just to clarify. I did have a post study work visa (before it was closed) so had I not been referred I would have simply entered the job hunt slog until my post study work visa ran out.
    Regarding the referral, it wasn’t simply a case of “Here’s Julian, he’s awesome, hire him. Bam” I had two interviews with the director and account managers before I went in for work experience. So yes, the referral was instrumental in setting the meeting up, but if I was not deemed to be up to scratch I wouldn’t have been hired.

  12. Tolu

    June 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    What’s the deal with all the realities of life of the HARSH realities of life talk??? So if one gets a job you’re now living in a fantasy world? Cause you are able to have a decent standard of living, pay your bills and even help others, then you’re not living in the real world? Abeg, you guys need to quite with the whining! No be every persin go make am abroad! The same way no be every persin go succeed for Naija. Just because one has a job does not mean you do not face challenges…

  13. Zero

    June 28, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Y una dey vex? na me say make una no sharp up get paper? Una no like true talk. No be everybody get luck like my guy for here .. plus d fact say e don dey europe for a long time help am as per relations with oyibo bcos interaction sef dey matter as dem go see say u don blend in with dem…Na just to arrange urself in every way make sense plus if u come dey good, even better..una no just know d kain opportunities wey dey uk with kpali and graduation from top 5 unis…Na my invaluable advice be dat. No dullin.

  14. Walkthetalk

    June 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Hmm Post Study Work Visa. Big sigh! That thing showed me pepper while job hunting lol. I had made up my mind I wasn’t going back to naija anytime soon after Uni so to boost my employment prospects here, I did a year’s work placement and spent 4 years instead of 3 for my undergrad. (Don’t mind the noise they are making now over going to Uni, oyinbo value experience over pali (certificate). And if you have a certificate plus relevant experience then you are onto a winner). This really helped as I distributed my CV to agencies and applied to companies directly but won’t bore you with details of how many job interviews I passed only to be told they couldn’t hire me because of the time limit on my Visa even after explaining (in my own unique case o) that by the end of my post study, i would qualify and be able apply for permanent residency (most oyinbos dont know their own immigration rules and law sef). The way I chose to see it back then it was d damn time limit and not the colour of my skin. I persevered and prayed and some verrrrrrrrrrrry much better employer hired me irrespective of the time limit. Now I can look back and smile.

  15. ccc

    June 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Thanks for the clarification and honesty, Julian. Moving back versus staying away is a highly emotive subject, and will probably be, for some time to come. As some have rightly pointed out, there is no need to buy into the whole ‘2nd class citizen’ mentality. Lots of professionals are doing well outside the country. Of course, you have to go about things the right way: work hard, put your best foot forward, acculturate, learn how things work, build networks, include yourself, integrate into the system, get mentors, link up with other professionals, etc (and keep faith in God). It’s very, very possible to build a really good life outside the country, at which point going back really amounts to a personal decision, which is what it should be, anyway.

  16. .....just saying

    June 28, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Another finance executive again? Sigh! Aren’t there other industry people to interview?

    • Bookie

      June 28, 2013 at 1:35 pm

      Reading is fundamental….

    • Julian Obubo

      June 28, 2013 at 1:40 pm

      Far from finance

    • Sandra

      June 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      You sure have some selective reading issue. Didn’t you read this part “This week in the same vein, we interview Julian Obubo, a young public relations & Media Practitioner in the UK who shares his journey so far.”

    • Dont just say

      June 28, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      Lol surely you are more intelligent than this?

    • Laide

      June 28, 2013 at 4:05 pm

      Later now people would start complaining about how they cannot get jobs…simply passage o le comprehend

  17. Madam the Madam

    June 28, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I always laugh when I see folks talking about being treated like 2nd class citizens in a foreign land. I guess you are treated as a second class citizen because you walk around with an inferiority complex and expect people to treat you as such. As for me, that is not my reality so you second class citizens can speak for yourselves.

    That said, this is nice. It’s nice to see things from the flip side of the moving back to Nigeria argument. Good job BN and Julian.

  18. ozi

    June 28, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Everyone is entitled to their views regarding Nigeria but it will continue in it’s state of demise if we all neglect the call for change, starting with ourselves. Being home or abroad has its advantages and disadvantages.
    Although the young man in question feels the need never to return home, there are other Nigerians who have not enjoyed a similar fate despite their optimism that Europe/US would be their ticket to better lives. Our individual experiences define our decisions.
    Anybody who thinks being an immigrant does not have any effect on your job prospects is in denial. In these times of recession, many medium and small sized firms will rather hire a person who will not require work permit over someone who will. Even some large firms will do the same because they are not ready for the hassle of having to show proof to immigration authorities that the position could not be filled with a citizen of that country.
    Another important aspect for me is family. If your entire family is in Nigeria, then the pull towards home will be stronger. I personally want to raise my children closer to my family because I feel they will benefit more from them as I did. Mr. Julian has his parents in Holland so he does not have to worry about that.

  19. nene

    June 28, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    when he’s tired, he’ll come back

  20. Sena

    June 28, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Dear Sunshine, to clarify further on the “who do you know”discourse, Julian indicated that his recommendation came from an ex-boss with whom he’d worked as an intern. In the corporate world, there’s a concept called ‘Networking’, through which one maintains contact with former colleagues and can benefit from referrals from his peers often subject to pervceived competence levels. I very much doubt that Julian would have been recommended, talk less of hired if he hadn’t demonstrated sufficient levels of competence and commitment at both his internship and series of interviews he underwent. You would agree with me that the Nigerian ‘Networking’ system isn’t exactly as transparent wouldn’t you?

  21. Banji

    June 28, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Hello all, I have returned to Nigeria on merit after working and living in the UK for 15 years. I was a VP at Credit Suisse in London. And oh yes I do have a fantastic job with a very good salary with it. I got my job in nigeria without connections. In fact , I got headhunted whilst in the UK. In addition with my hubby , we own our homes both here in naija and the UK. Why am I saying all these. We worked our socks off in the UK and Naija to get noticed. It is not all that bad in naija and the UK is fab also up till a certain age. I dare say 35 years

  22. Tolu

    June 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    He was lucky to get a job there that easily o! Omo me I suffer well well o!

  23. John

    June 29, 2013 at 12:41 am

    I think zero is right. Try get your papers and make sure you go to a top 5 university and you won’t have issues getting a good job at least £25k plus…

  24. the mon

    June 29, 2013 at 12:47 am

    bottom line is get your paper wherever you please! be it bangkok, cairo, egypt or Fela’s Shrine. all dat come back home stuff is just sum’n planted in our heads since birth.

    As long as you’re happy and content wherever you go, dats all dat really matters. Sometimes our long-inherited mentalities and cultures can have a negative influence on our life regardless of nationality, color of skin etc.

    My only word of advice is to surely invest back home when you feel the time is right. For i’ve been outside Nigeria for over a decade as well (14 yrs to be precise) and I can tell you that after doing my trial-investing in 2 large western corporations (in Belgium & Spain), plus looking at the scale of how things go up and down out here in Europe under the structure of over-corrupt, tactical and criminal government always seeking to rob other nations of something; its safe to say my investments would be betta off back home. So my last word of advice is, save some money. cos European money neva really lasts. N trust me, I’m talking from experience, no matter the cost you think.

  25. NNENNE

    June 29, 2013 at 3:22 am

    Relocate to Nigeria to face nepotism, quota system and indigenization policies?
    Half baked people assuming positions they are not qualified for when the qualified, hard working ones remain unemployed?
    We once had a tenant, a Nigerian doctor whose wife was a social worker. She said that she left the country(Before she met her husband) because her contract in Northern Nigeria was not renewed after the initial three years. She was told there were enough indigenous people to do her job and she was not needed. In the only country she could call her own!
    On the other hand, the only place I could own land without buying it or pay taxes on it is my village.That is why I consider myself a second class citizen outside Nigeria. Believe me my naturalized country has been very benevolent in every way imaginable.
    I am not giving either up. Two is always better than one.

  26. Serical

    June 29, 2013 at 10:44 am

    i agree with most of the things i’ve read above and the fact is that Nigeria is not the best/easiest place to live especially for someone that has live abroad in a country where things are run properly…
    The fact is that most Nigerians dont even know what life is with the basic amenities (proper education,facilites such as electricity,good roads,water)…its a shame that only the comfortable (middle class) and rich people get to experience this and yes, we dont insist on the best and accept subpar standards..
    I disagree on what someone above said about Nigerians in diaspora being part of the problem, that sounds like a cop-out to me, it shouldnt take people from outside to improve our country for us, with all the God given resources Nigeria has,the country shouldnt be like this and thats on us in the Country-our rulers have FAILED us and its as simple as that
    and no matter how qualified you are, as long as you are in a foreign country you can feel the difference, obviously if you are paying taxes,have a legal immigration status, you have equal rights but its still not the same.

  27. hope

    June 29, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Well put together.

  28. Concerned9ja

    June 29, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Personally I think both have their good sides and their crooked sides..UK/US would take of resources though many untapped and wasted..
    I happen to be a Director of my own firm and never posted a loss in 5-6 years of starting up..and on top of my game..and visit 9ja every year..
    I tend to look at things 10-20 years down the line with good health and God’s grace..the reality is US and UK have serious financial problems they remind us everyday..just the other day took an ambulance almost 30 mins to turn up someone had collapsed on the train…if your dog was sic they would be in 5 mins..this delay be attributed to recent cutbacks in services..also the tough stands on anti-immigration almost fascist language allowed to permeate the airwaves quite disturbing…and this natives who are unemployed..X factor watching fanatics and not up to much get restless and hardly know if you have papers or not before unleashing some abuse and giving funny looks and been known to be violent…this wasn’t the case a few years ago though must admit its random but ethnic people are getting edgy over this..I also think most commenting here live in London under the comfort of being around enough blacks and 9jas…not the same for those living outside London..
    My thing is invest in 9ja as someone said I always try to keep an eye on what goes down in 9ja…Still a shame though and a reality that 9jas back home feel threatened by Professionals from the UK\US guess they make them feel incompetent..funny thing is those same diasporans with the lure of money soon become part of the mess..this is of major concern to Diasporans…but I can never live old in US/UK…very depressing thought!!…as someone said Diaspora is very exciting up until a certain age..if 9ja is not an option I probably would be a roving Consultant globe trotting around the world!!

  29. Nayo Jay

    June 30, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    There are always two sides to a coin.Nothing is ever as good or bad as it looks- not life in Naija,not life outside.You might feel @ home wherever u are,but there is some degree of home sickness u feel @ some point.Even d Obama some of u hinged ur arguments on does identify wiv Kenya(and we all know Kenya is worse off).Always make ur cake where u can get flour,but,folks,never forget where u learnt u culinary skills.

  30. London's finest

    June 30, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Hmmm… Since he was on post study work visa when he got the job, I’m guessing his employer must have applied for/sponsored his work permit.

    Very, very few people have such chances these days. The immigration rules are getter tighter.

    I know people that have the degree and relevant work experience yet have to deal with work permit issues.

  31. Nigerian-American

    July 1, 2013 at 6:18 am

    “I do not agree that all Nigerians need to go back home because I believe there is enough willpower and brainpower in Nigeria to improve things.”

    If Nigeria continues to fall victim to the brain drain and people do not return, where is the will and brainpower? To whom much is given, much is required. As an American born/raised Nigerian, I tend to have a different understanding of why there are opportunities in the US and other nations–because other people realized that you do not consider yourself first and foremost, but rather sacrifice yourself for the greater good of your people. This mentality is the reason why I am where I am in this country and why so many black Africans can come and flourish in this country.

  32. justmii

    July 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    We all know even in developed countries you cannot underestimate the power of networking(Connection in Nigerian terms).NEVER!!! You are told to constantly network, broaden your network. So the difference between Nigerian networking is that if your father knows the right people wether you graduated with the lowest grade available it hardly matters, you might not be able to make a complete grammatical statement in English and you will still get the job but here yes connections or networking might open the door but to get through that door you have to do the work for yourself!!!. Just like Julian pointed out, I am one of those that knows no one but God, and after graduation I started out real small and I am still small but I have worked my way up in my industry. I have tried helping fellow Nigerians along the way but there are some that I have just had to drop, I believe God opened doors that no man could for me so that I could be of help to others but some of our people still bring this 9ja mentality here, they want you to open the door, push them through it and serve them lunch in the process, please this is not 9ja; your merits have to impress the hiring managers . What pisses me off is when they start telling you oooohhhh you have the connections naaaaahhhh. You are now in this position, you are a bigz girls. God knows all this roles I have had only Grace and hardwork has helped me, I have not known anyone but I never ever underestimate the power of networking even though I have never used it on a personal level and oh yes I hope to return to Nigeria someday infact i started reading BN and some other blogs just because of that. I want to know more about what’s going on, things to expect and so it can help me prepare for what’s ahead. Nevertheless, I know returning home is not for everyone.

  33. *Real*Nice Anon

    July 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    I cannot help but think that Julian looks like Nonso Anozie the actor. LOL!

    • ojie king

      July 23, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      i know right. I almost thought it was Nonso as well

  34. Boluwatife

    July 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Check out movebacktonigeria on facebook at and also follow us on twitter @movebackto9ja

  35. Larz

    July 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Na wa oh. Why fight over this. There is no right or wrong answer. Everyone have their own preference and even that changes over time. Hustle whereever works better for u. Dont overlook opportunites where u r (Nigeria or elsewhere) to jump to the other without a plan just cuz that is popular opinion. When opportunities comes up, go for it. But, make sure u make decisions on facts based on solid research not biased opinion. Ultimately u wanna figure is it will work for you!

    Pros/ Cons
    Just remember, as a growing economy, Nigeria has great potential, perceived higher risk = higher return. The sense of community, culture etc, although I would like to point out that in some cities in Nigeria, we are beginning to lose this.
    However, in doing so, just remember there is so much more to it. In doing that u trade basic infrastructure. Bad roads, or at worst a person in an NYSC camp or elsewhere with no immediate access to healthcare. It may not seem like an issue until u find out someone lost their relative due to power outage or worse, they are far from home and local hospital demanded cash / bank transfer that came 1 hr too late.

  36. ojie king

    July 23, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    I agree with him wholeheartedly. I too came back home to do NYSC and i can say, it was absolutely appalling, the rubbish that is subjected on people all in the name of national service.. It is slow, inefficient ( they do not give you your correct size of anything, so you see people hanging on the corners making exchanges, to this day, i do not have the correct boot size). The staff act like they are doing you a favour instead of their jobs. The information is always hidden and one had to go through rubbish begging and pleading to get it out. So, its a turn off to be honest. i honestly do not blame him. There is a preference for mediocrity as opposed to quality and that is very worrisome atimes, but, well its a developing country, so with time……

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