Things To Know When Coming To Settle Down As A Returnee

It is not always a good idea to start a project or a journey until you have counted the costs of doing so. This piece of advice is for all returnees who want to make a success of their trips back home. Here are some of the things you need to put in place and of course, discover before packing your bags and heading back home:

Consider the possibility of being self employed

Age is an important factor when it comes to getting a job back home; and that is why you need to consider the possibility of being self employed. Of a truth, there are some good jobs in Nigeria contrary to what a lot of people think; but even more interesting is the fact that the possibility of getting yourself employed is higher. Now just before you quote me wrongly, you may have to face a lot of competition in order to get yourself gainfully employed.

Have Enough Resources To Last You  Long Time

Resources available to any individual are always limited, and that includes a returnee as well. When it comes coming back home, you need to build enough resources to last you until you have everything in place. Make up a budget that could last you up to a year or six months at least in order to survive the tough periods. Always stick to your budget and plan no matter the temptation as this is what you need to survive as a returnee.

It is not always so easy  to get employed if you have been outside the shores of this country for such a long time. Factors like age, and unfamiliarity with the environment, dealing with people with different work methods might pose as obstacles in getting a job easily. Being self employed is not even as easy as you think because it takes a lot of research work , a lot of capital, and that is why you need to have a lot of savings to sustain you during the period.

Sometimes too, things are not always what they seems to be when you travel out of the country. You could return to a lot of changes like those you left behind doing better than you, and sometimes it could be the other way round; so it is important to have your mind prepared for whatever may come up.

Always Look Presentable

Nigerians are highly fashionable people, and that is why you want to be as attractive as you possibly can with the way you dress. Nice clothing, good shoes, expensive jewelleries, and attractive perfumes are some of the things you need to consider before coming back home. You want to look good because first appearance really matter .

You might be surprised that your dress sense can either dress to shut your doors of opportunities or dress to open the right doors; it all depends on how you plan things. When going to meet the ‘boss’ or the Nigerian big man; always dress decently and avoid being too casual in your dress mode.  Sometimes in Nigeria, it’s all about how you present yourself which is known as “packaging “ .People sometimes believe when  you look good , and dress very well ,drive an expensive car, you come across as someone who is comfortable and would be nice to  do business with you .With time you will surely find out that its totally blown out of proportion .Also If it is necessary, then try to be slightly flamboyant. Be confident, and always express yourself in good English; and avoid using certain slang such as ‘I wana or I gonna…’

Try and get yourself a car

It might be advisable to try and have at least a car to move around because it makes life easier. Its not easy to use the transport system due to the lack of organisation and indiscipline of the bus drivers but if need be you still need to forget all that and  make use of it if you need too. Try not to spend too much on buying an expensive car because you might be surprised that, that car of yours, which you prise so much, is not fashionable in Nigeria. Here, some people drive the next year’s model before they become common in Europe or the Americas. How they make such money to pay upfront is still the mystery I am struggling to unravel; but be warned because Nigerians are car-crazy freaks !

Do Not Lend Money You Can Give

Well try and avoid lending money to people. Only give out that which you could afford to lose. Beware of relatives, friends and the extended family.They usually come up with one story or another just to extra money from you.  If you manage to set up a small business, it might be advisable to try not to employ those closely related to you unless you are rest assured you are both on the same plane.

Avoid Mad Drivers

Forgive me for saying this, but that is the truth. The roads are so bad and the drivers so ill-trained that if you plan on driving yourself, and not being used to their adversarial/confrontational pattern of driving, your car and you would, in a very short while be a sorry sight.

They hit you because you are conscious of driving rules and apply it. Drivers, who do not apply simple driving rules, rule the highway in Nigeria. In a society not used to insurance, and where vehicular laws are not implemented, begging has replaced insurance coverage. Even passer byes would chip in to ask the offending reckless driver to beg you and get on with his life. If they beg you, you must accept. That’s your only recourse.

Be Cautious Of Your Phone Habit

It is very expensive to use the telephones in Nigeria. As you know, telephone calls in the western world are taken for granted. Here, while it’s beginning to happen as if it is for granted, it is very, very expensive. To Nigerians who are not used to such freedom of expression, they are spending millions everyday to make phone calls – to satisfy their newly found phone freedom. If you are not mindful, telephone bills may cut into your feeding pattern.

It is actually very easy to get carried away while using the telephone; but of course, this is understandable because you come from a country and place where calls are cheap. However, don’t get carried away, and most of all, make only those calls that are necessary.

Buy Only What Is Needed

Avoid going to the supermarkets to get your food – raw, processed or cooked. Buy from the local sellers at the nearest mammy market. Go to the supermarkets and shops to buy the essentials. At the malls, you will find that while you spend a miserable amount to buy your essential needs, Nigerians who are have not learnt how to spend end up buying anything in site both the ones they need and those they do not need.

Avoid Comparing Both Environment

If your mates joined politics, they have occupied the choicest of political positions in the land and made new friends that will be hard to dislodge. If you happen to have showed off to them in your hey days of “returning” from America or any other country you have been to before returning back home, be rest assured they have not forgotten. They call us mercenaries in politics. It is now pay back time for them; a time to show you that you can’t have it both ways. They have built a barricade and insulated themselves from out side interests – you the returnee being an outside interest that must be dreaded. If you have real or passing interest in politics, you must show it with extreme caution. They would like to invite you to political meetings and discussion only to put you to size

Don’t Behave Like You Know It All

While not accepting everything they say, when making your presentations, or contributions avoid using phonetics. Avoid such phrases as “if it were in America or Europe.” They do not like to hear that. One of them surely will remind you “this is Nigeria” to the embarrassing applause of others. They see Nigeria now as a trophy. They laboured for Nigeria while you were gone. They suffered the June 12 crises together while you were gone. They suffered the Abacha era while you were gone. While you were gone, you probably had returned on one or two occasions only to hurry out soon after complaining of incessant heat, erratic power supply and mosquito bites. At the airport, you must have been caught criticizing everything in sight. They have not forgotten your new borrowed accent and the phonetics that do not rhyme.

Be Careful Who You Trust

Trust is not what you earn overnight; and when someone does as much as stab you in the back; then it sure going to take a long time to trust someone else in the future. As a returnee, you can’t afford to trust people without letting them earn it. Let people earn your trust; don’t throw it at every Tom Dick and Harry out there; it won’t do you any good in the end.

People change as you already know; someone whom you trust so much as a childhood friend could have changed over the years while you were away or out of the country. I am not saying you should judge people by face value; far from it, what I am saying is that you should know people too well before you open up to them. You can find or read more about how a friend of mine stabbed me in the back when I got back to the country; it wasn’t a funny thing to put it mildly.

Have A Clear Goal In Mind

Goals are good; and as a matter of fact, they will help you settle down as soon as possible. As a returnee, you must have a defined goal that will usher you into your Eldorado in order to be a success in this country.

Goals must be clearly defined in such a way that things are not mixed up. You must understand the fact that things back here are quite different from the way they are in England or the United States for example. If it works down there and fails to click back home; then it’s because it is a case of two different worlds.

What works back there may not work down here; and it’s up to you not to get things mixed up. As a matter of fact, clear goals will help you in more ways than one like not spending beyond your budget, starting up a lasting business of your own, and many others.

Do A Lot Of Networking  

As a returnee, one thing you should do is get connected with a lot of people that could help you get things done. You never know, but a simple phone call could be all you need instead of driving the distance.

If you are thinking of doing something online or starting an NGO for instance, one thing you do need is a lot of networking. Network with the right people, and you could soon be one of the most successful returnees in this part of the world.

Avoid Carrying Loads Of Cash Around

Thankfully Nigeria is gradually moving towards a cashless society where emphasis is placed more on not moving cash around. However, it is important to let you know that it is not a safe idea to start carrying or moving large cash around as this could pose serious security threat to your life.

Carrying or going about with loads of cash could attract the wrong set of people. This could be so dangerous that even your security guards or members of staff could be the ones to invite people to invade your house. You could even lose your life in the process because someone somewhere could be dead high on drugs and could be trigger happy; so watch it before someone snuffs life out of you.

Ever heard of Funds Transfer FT? Well I guess you have because it is what people do in countries like the UK and the United States. Though, this could come with some little bank charges; but I am sure it’s is not as expensive and risky as carrying loads of cash about and being exposed to robbers on the streets. Even if you do go to the bank to withdraw stacks of cash because it is inevitable or because you need to pay some market women; I advice you specially request for the higher denominations.

Even when someone wishes to pay some money for goods or services rendered to them; it is important that you ask them to pay straight into your bank account or ask them to raise a draft.

Do Your Research Well

One of the things you should do as a returnee before coming back home is to carry out lots of researches. Times have passed, and things are never the way they used to be before leaving the country.

Ask questions from friends and loved ones, and above all use the search engines. The search engines are loaded with more information than you can ever imagine or think of; and that is the truth.

You probably need to know what the exchange rate is before heading home. Your hundred dollar bill could very well buy you a lot of things back home; but do not be fooled thinking it can lasts for months with friends and families milling around you.


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