Monday, 17 September 2012


Aside from Nigeria being the most populated African country, Nigerians themselves are credited by several reports to be the most travelled in the continent. Little wonder a large number of Nigerians are resident abroad, no thanks to the grueling economic situation of the country since the 80s.

Unending desire to escape from this harsh economic conditions, and seek greener pastures outside the country, thereby making a better living and supporting their families back home, has forced a lot of Nigerians to live outside the country under some severe conditions too, though far better, compared to what is obtainable in Nigeria.

 For a lot of Nigerians living the United Kingdom, obtaining Resident Permit to live and work in the Queen’s country can be compared to the Biblical Camel going through the eye of the needle. A lot of them who desire to stay back after the expiration of their visas have to contend with usually running away from Police Officers and Immigration Officers or avoiding them while trying to eke out a living doing all sort of menial and dehumanizing jobs.

 A lot of them do this with the intention of raising enough money to get their resident permit through the services of Immigration Lawyers. Another option for these “I must stay back in UK “Nigerians is for them to legally marry a British citizen either Black or White. This is the commonest way Nigerians obtain their papers.

Though in most cases, the relationships end up in break-ups. Since it is required by law that they stay together as husband and wife, some who are compelled by law to live in their ‘ matrimonial homes’, will have to manage the “ marriage “ for about 2 years. According to findings, the cost of getting a spouse who has valid documents to arrange marriage, so as to get proper documents for resident permit in the UK runs into millions of naira.

 Some part with as much as 12,000 pounds (about 3.2 million naira) while others have to pay like 10,000 pounds (about 2.7 million naira) to perfect their papers and this is for real.

Unlike the African tradition which frowns at women retaining their maiden names, after they are married, the UK law permits married women to retain their maiden names, after they are married.

Hence a lot of Nigerian women with resident permit use their maiden names on their British passport, and immigration papers or Nigerian passport in some cases.

 In recent times, a lot of Nigerians in this category pay through their nose to get resident permit and even after paying lawyers and agents, their fate will still be hanging in the balance as they have to wait endlessly and keep praying their papers come through before they fall victims of immigration officers or police.

 Unfortunately, Nigerians who face threats of deportation everyday hardly have enough time to convince authorities why they should not be deported once they fail to produce a valid document.

 An unfortunate incident occurred penultimate week when a man who had lived in London for about 10 years without any document was arrested in his house. According to sources, the man was not the target but another Nigerian who was arrested by Policemen but failed to show them any evidence of his legal stay in the country. They insisted he took them to his house. They arrived in his house; the gentleman who had lived and toiled in the last 10 years in UK was a new occupant of the apartment. He was also apprehended and told to produce his papers. As he could not do so, he was also arrested alongside the first man who took them to the house.

 Unfortunately, he was owing his lawyer about 550 pounds before his arrest, which the lawyer insisted on being paid before he could take any step to make any case for him at the immigration office.

 To add to his trouble, the lady who bore for him a daughter who would have come to his rescue by telling the authorities they have a relationship insisted she won’t move an inch for his sake because of their differences overtime.

 Most Nigerians living in the UK without papers stay indoors and avoid places where Police or Immigration authorities can easily apprehend them.

1 comment:

  1. i do think that have a life of helll back home and all they wont is a chance to work to surrport there familys ,every one has there own story ,while our own british people would rather sit on there back sides claming bennefits .whilst these nirgian's would like nothing more then to be able to work .far play for them good luck


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