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What increased migration means for Nigeria’s workforce and population3 minutes read

More Nigerians are taking up permanent residency in Canada, and this is not without its effects on the population demographic.

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With huge prospects in employment and social security, more Nigerians are motivated to make the permanent move into Canada. Photo credit: PM News.

On Twitter, you may find that a user’s account name has both the Nigerian and Canadian national flags sitting pretty beside it. This is usually a reflection of allegiance to two nationalities, the former by birth and the other by immigration. More importantly, however, it depicts a massive movement of Nigeria’s active population to the United States’ smaller, quieter, less-likely-to-make-the-news neighbour.

More and more middle-class Nigerians are making the exodus from their home country to Canada, and according to recently published data, the number of Nigerians that have been issued residency permits has tripled in the last five years. The numbers show no signs of slowing down anytime soon: people are taking French classes and studying for IELTS tests, high-earning individuals are saving up amidst year-long applications, and conversations centred about migration have increased online and offline.

One reason for this would be that of all the countries in the world, Canada has been one of the most intentional about welcoming immigrants, who are motivated by the North American nation’s economic opportunities, diverse population and functional health care system, among other factors. In 2015, Canada implemented a new system for accepting skilled immigrants through its borders, using a points-based calculation in which applicants are scored on the basis of their age, work experience, education level, and language skills, with a view to easing the entry of skilled foreigners. In 2018, Canada’s immigration minister, Ahmed Hussein expressed the country’s intention to attract more than 1 million people from 2019 to 2021. Last year, over 341,000 immigrants successfully gained entry into Canada.

At the other end of the Atlantic, people are seeing more and more reasons to leave Nigeria. Many working-class youths are dissatisfied with the level of security, paucity of employment opportunities and slow pace of infrastructural development, and not only seek to carve out a better quality of life for themselves, but also raise their children in an environment where social security and human dignity are assured. For instance, more doctors and nurses, who are aware that there is a high demand for skilled labour in Canada, are taking foreign examinations to ensure qualification for a smooth passage to a country that appears to place more value on their services. A Twitter user once made a post about how an entire department in his organisation stopped functioning because the employees there had migrated.

Surely, having more Nigerians in Canada who send money back home and invest in local business contributes significantly to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but the issue of brain drain calls for concern. Canadian authorities have been accused in certain quarters of subtly invading Nigeria to steal its talent, but the major argument is that if everything was alright back home, Nigerians wouldn’t be so eager to run to the airport. The youth population is ditching Lagos and Abuja for Ottawa because they feel a degree of discontent, and it is up to the government and public policy stakeholders to give them a reason to stay. If Nigerians can be guaranteed an adequate level of security, a fertile ground for business and supply of basic amenities, then immigration offices would be a lot less crowded.

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2baba announces new album “Warriors”

This coming full-length project is set to solidify 2baba’s status as a living icon.

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One of Nigeria’s most celebrated singers 2baba is set to release his new album titled “Warriors” on Friday, February 28. This album would be released as part of his 20 Years A King celebration, which commemorates 2baba’s two decades in the Nigerian music industry. 

This coming project would be the long-overdue follow up to his 2014 album, “The Ascension” which was met with mixed reviews upon its release. 

2baba made the announcement on his Instagram page, sharing the album cover and the release date. He also revealed that the album scheduled for release next week is already available for pre-order.

Anticipate!!! This album is for warriors ✊ 28.2.2020. Pre-order link in bio,” he shared.

“Warriors” would contain 13 tracks and include previously released singles like ‘Important’, ‘Oyi’ and the Peruzzi-assisted smash hit, ‘Amaka’. The LP also boasts big-name collaborations like Burna Boy, Wizkid, Olamide, Tiwa Savage and Peruzzi. It also features AJ, Symeca and his daughter HI Idibia.

The album would be released under the 2baba-headed imprint, Hypertek Digital which he established after leaving Kennis Music in 2008.

Formerly known as 2face Idibia, 2baba is one Africa’s most successful artists, winning local, continental and international awards like BET and MTV Europe Music Awards. 

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Wizkid teases “Made in Lagos” release

The popular Nigerian singer says that the long-awaited album is “finally done.”

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One of Nigeria’s biggest music superstars Wizkid has revealed on Thursday, February 20 that his highly anticipated album, “Made In Lagos” is finally ready. 

The singer shared this news on his Twitter, revealing that “I been working on my album and my spirit.”

“Finally done! So you know what that means! ,” he continued. 

This news comes much to the delight of fans who have been anticipating the album’s release for years now. Last year, Wizkid also teased that the album was ready for release. In fact, the singer played some of the songs suspected to be off the project on Instagram live. 

However fans and music lovers were disappointed when the year ended and there was no “Made In Lagos” or any assurance of its release. 

Instead of the promised album, all the fans could lay their hands upon were two 2019 singles ‘Ghetto Love’ and ‘Joro’. Later in the year however, Wizkid’s record label, Starboy, released a collection of songs titled “Soundman Vol.1” which featured significant contributions from the much celebrated singer.

“Made In Lagos” is expected to be Wizkid’s fourth solo full-length project, coming after his ambitious body of work, “Sounds From The Other Side” released in 2016. The 12-track album featured an international all-star cast of Drake, Major Lazer, Ty Dolla $ign, Bucie and Trey Songz.

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A museum committed to telling African stories

The latest exhibition at Dakar’s Museum of Black Civilisations focuses on migration and colonisation

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The Prete-moi Ton Reve exhibition is meant to act as a beacon for young African artists. Photo credit: elephant.art

The Museum of Black Civilisations, which opened at Dakar in December 2018, was conceived with the goal of highlighting Africa’s contribution to ancient civilisations, and equally representing the histories and contemporary cultures of black people all around the world. The museum has been vocal in requesting the repatriation of African artworks, given that many works which depict Africa’s cultural heritage were carted away in centuries past and are currently kept in museums in the West.

The Dakar Museum of Black Civilisations is currently playing host to an ongoing art exhibition called Prete-moi ton reve (lend me your dream). Billed as Africa’s first travelling exhibition, Prete-moi ton reve curates the work of about 30 artists across 20 African countries, and will move through 7 cities, including Dakar, Lagos, Abidjan, Cassablanca, Marrakech, Addis Ababa and Cape Town.

The exhibition would involve displays of art in various forms, including sculpture, paintings, fabric and photography. An example of one of the works to be exhibited is one involving giant matchsticks, which represent the 1884-85 Berlin Conference, which culminated in the scramble for Africa and ultimately, colonization of the region by Europe’s powers. This is fitting, as Prete-moi ton reve focuses on migration, the complexity of colonial relationships, and the African identity.

 Prete-moi ton reve is one of the first shows that has been completely orchestrated by Africans and focuses on Africa rather than the African diaspora. By honing in on African artists in Africa, the exhibition highlights the accomplishments of African artists and the breadth of their work. In many ways, the exhibition is expected to provide hope to young African artists, making them see that they can still gain recognition by showcasing their craft within Africa, rather than toeing the regular path of moving to Europe or the Americas to seek fame and fortune.

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