Nigerian example for Ukraine: How labor migration can become driver of economic growth?

Author : Oleksandr Mishyn

Source : 112 Ukraine

Answering the question which factor distinguishes the economic power of Ukraine, experts say - these are people. Neither the most fertile soils in the world, nor the natural resources are no longer the indisputable economic advantages of our state
23:33, 17 December 2019

Open source

Why these natural resources give less and less return? The answer must be sought in the imperfection of economic models of their use, low value-added in the processing of raw materials, high levels of corruption and excessive concentration of profits in the hands of extremely few financial and industrial groups or interest, which kills competition.

Many articles have been written about such quasi-monopolies, and no matter what arguments they cover themselves with, they have long failed to provide Ukrainians with a financial resource that would satisfy people. These are all signs of a rollback to the pre-modern economy, a kind of feudalism of the 21st century, against the background of the actual elimination of state from responsibility for the future of Ukraine.

There are conditions that push a significant number of Ukrainian citizens to seek a better life outside their homeland. So, according to state statistics, under the current conditions, 3.2 million Ukrainians (18.5% of the working-age population) earn money abroad. if we take into account temporary migrants, there will be 9 million people. These people generate funds, which in 2018 amounted to almost a third of the budget and 4.6 times exceeded the volume of FDI (foreign direct investment).

However, in the modern world, Ukrainians are not the only ones to face such a problem. One can recall dozens of examples of states with similar economic models, but in this case, the example of Nigeria caught my eye. The fact is that this is now Africa's largest economy in terms of GDP - $ 397 billion (to compare Ukraine’s GDP - $ 130.8 billion).

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Nigeria is also the largest African country in terms of population - over 200 million people. Finally, Nigeria is the largest oil producer on the continent - 2-2.5 million barrels per day (the 6th indicator in the world). At the same time, the army of Nigerian labor migrants alone, according to official statistics, amounts to more than 1.24 million people, and they earn up to 24 billion dollars (6.1% of the country's GDP).

But how big is this figure in reality? According to PwC experts, remittances from Nigerian workers account for 83% of the federal budget, which is 11 times more than FDI and 7.4 times more than international assistance for the development of this country.

Since 2015, Nigerians' remittances have exceeded the country's oil revenues! It turns out that the economic power of people in the modern world is the main source of prosperity for the country's economy and keeping it afloat, as in the case of Nigeria.

So, the conclusion is very simple: if a country is striving for the future, then it needs to invest in the development of its people, and also to maintain constant ties with them under any conditions. Both components are very important, and, drawing a conclusion, Ukraine has long needed to move from creating “humanitarian unity” with diasporas to create a powerful global economic network.

For example, you can take Chinese OCBN - Overseas Chinese business networks, better known as the "bamboo network." I would like to believe that this idea will benefit both the Ukrainian state and Ukrainians, wherever they are in the world.

Related: In 2014-2015, Ukraine's GDP lost 15-20% due to Russian aggression, - Economic Development Minister

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