– Nigerians in the UK believe that the British government cannot be as bad as what is obtainable in Nigeria
– Vow never to return simply based on Brexit Nigerians living in the United Kingdom have vowed not to return to their country despite the recent pull out of the British government from the European Union.
The world was shocked on Friday following the result of the British referendum on the European Union, as overwhelming votes poured in for the British to stay out of the union. And after being asked series of questions by New Telegraph, some Nigerians living in the UK expressed their desire to continue living on British soil despite the fact that the pound slumped to a 31-year low. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Whatsapp Some Nigerians after being deported to the country from the UK. Those who are still there have vowed not to return inspite of the Brexit. Photo: The Nation The excuse of the Nigerians in Britain is that the situation in the UK cannot be as bad as what is obtainable in their country of origin, and they have vowed to remain and endure whatever hardship they experience in the process. One of them identified simply as Funsho, who stays in the London Borough of Lewisham said: “Yes, I know the value of the pound has dropped, which means things are likely to cost more here; but the truth is that money is not everything.
“First, I believe that the uncertainty will not last for ever and things will still stabilise. But even if the cost of goods and services do go up, are you saying that I will be better off returning to Nigeria where light (public power supply) is still very epileptic, where there are no good roads and the security situation is frightening? “Come on! No matter how tough it gets here (London), there is no way it will ever be as bad as Nigeria.”
Speaking also, Sanjo Jones who works as a communication consultant in Littlehampton, said: “On Nigerians living in the UK, I don’t think there would be any direct negative impact because they are none EU members. “We are Africans and everything we do in the UK is still going to be the same, the only thing that might happen is that a lot of Africans from non-EU member states who in the past used the EU laws to get away with a lot of things that ordinarily would have sent them to jail, would now have to buckle up and stay out of trouble or face the wrath of the British law courts.
“There are people in the UK who exploit some portions of the EU immigration laws to get their immigration papers approved speedily, this won’t happen again. “Job wise, Nigerians in the UK won’t be affected in anyway because, they have been working as African citizens and not as people from EU states. They will continue with their jobs either as Africans or British citizens, this time around with better pay packages. The new development will restrict movement of people, now British citizens would have to get visas to travel to EU countries.
“This is going to add some money to holiday’s expenses for British citizens, as they have to pay for visas, and do the rigours of going to different embassies to file and follow up applications.” Jones also mooted the advantage of the UK pulling out of the EU, thus:
“The EU citizens in the United Kingdom who summarily took all the small jobs to the detriment of Nigerians would have to leave the country to the advantage of our people.
“The labour market in the UK would come back to what it was years ago when Nigerians had greater opportunities to do real jobs. Some 10 years ago, if Nigerians get into the UK, they get a job in a matter of two days, but the EU citizens spoilt the market, making it very difficult to get lucrative jobs. “The UK economy is going to suffer for some time, but it will regain its firm footing soon. “If you look at the trade market 24 hours after the decision, the value of the pound sterling dropped drastically by 6.2% and it is going to continue to drop until anybody knows the certainty, which is not too sure to attain.
“The businessmen and women in the UK now believe they can trade freely without paying the heavy European tax. For instance in the past, UK manufacturers taking their goods to France pay as much as 35% tax, this won’t be so anymore but really we don’t know what would replace this. So, it is still uncertain.”
On his part, a Nigerian scientist who resides in Glasgow, Scotland, identified as Tebe Larry Ojukonsin, adduced that, “In terms of the current shock associated with the UK leaving the EU, this would to a great extent strengthen the Nigerian currency, the naira, against the British pound.
“And in terms of Nigeria’s prospect, as our country is not a part of the European Union, because of the influx of migrants from other parts of the European Union, who did not need a visa to come into the UK, this over time affected the non-EU members in terms of the UK efforts in giving welfare packages such as scholarship and funding for it, which was narrowed down only to members of the European Union.
“Most of the Nigerians in Scotland, voted for the UK to leave the EU, so that the United Kingdom could assess Nigerians based on the country being part of the Commonwealth of Nations and also based on the rare talents of the people. On the long run, it is going to be to the advantage of Nigerians and other non-EU members living in the United Kingdom. It is going to be a big advantage for our citizens.” Speaking however on the pull out of the British government from the EU, renowned Nigerian professor of political economy, Pat Utomi, said it could bring about similar self-determination spirit in other parts of the world especially, Africa.
Utomi said: “I have a feeling that this is a new dawn for plebiscite or referendum democracy. People are going to be asking why they should be in any union. It could be Sierra Leone, it could be Nigeria. They will call for their own referendum. Culture, trends and patterns tend to take on a global dimension.
“We have arrived at the age of self-determination. Making people stay in a union that they don’t like is now the equivalent of slavery in the modern age. It may get to the extent that many of the concocted states of West Africa that came out of the Berlin Conference, will begin to unravel. It has huge implication.”