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1.1 Background of the Study
Economic performance has been highly unsatisfactory in Nigeria in the last thirty years. The per capita GDP for Nigeria has remained almost the same as it was in 1972 and GDP growth rate has been slow, with negative growth in 1981-84. This situation coupled with other macroeconomic problems led the country to adopt the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986. Despite this the growth rate was still negative in 1987. This poor economic performance characterized by economic stagnation, macroeconomic instability, corruption, poor resource management and untold economic hardship (Chukwuone et al, 2007) has continued in Nigeria forcing international migration in the country. The need to accelerate the rate of economic growth has motivated policymakers to make effort to encourage foreign capital flow into the country, which could be in the form of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), remittances which is of particular interest to this study, Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) and the like. Migration which involves relocation of residence assumed a phenomenal dimension in the past decades as a result of poor economic performance which resulted in economic hardship in the country.
Tanner (2005) defined migration as the international migrant residing in a country in which they are not natives. It is estimated that one out of every 35 persons is an international migrant. This is equivalent to about three percent of the world population. According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report, these numbers are “expected to grow as migration pressures, created by the development gaps between poor and rich countries and fuelled by the process of globalization and demographic dynamics, will result in further migration”. International migration is believed to generate welfare gains for both migrants, countries of origin and destination as well as reduce poverty, the benefits to home countries of migrants been realized basically through remittances (Ratha and Mohapatra, 2007). In all ramifications, migration has become one of the means of acquiring skills and improving standard of living of both skilled and unskilled labour force (Quartey, 2006). In Nigeria, many people, especially the young ones consider migration as a panacea to economic problems because of the macroeconomic instability, corruption and poor management of resources. That is why thousands of professionals especially scientists, academics and even those in the medical fields migrate mainly to Western Europe, the United States and the Persian Gulf states. At the same time, unskilled Nigerians with little education migrate abroad to work as cleaners, security guards, e.t.c.(Chukwuone, 2007). On the other hand, economic growth is described as the positive and sustained increase in aggregate goods and services produced in an economy within a given time period. When measured with the population of a given country, then economic growth can be stated in terms of per capita income according to which the aggregate production of goods and services in a given year is divided by the population of the country in the given period.
Economic growth can also be stated in nominal or in real terms. Hence, when the increase in the aggregate level of goods and services is deflated by the rate of inflation, we have the real economic growth, otherwise when measured without deflating, it is called nominal economic growth (Balami, 2010). However, the concept of economic growth has not been quite easy to grasp and measure in real terms. This is so because often on the literature of of economics, some authors have variously differentiated economic growth from the term “economic development”. For such authors like Lewis (1978), the mere increase in the aggregate level of production of goods and services in an economy tells us nothing about the “quality of life” of a citizenry, given the threats of global pollution, abysmal lop-sided distribution of aggregate output and income, environmental degradation, prevalence of chronic and deadly disease, abject poverty and the absence of freedom and justice. For such authors, attention should be focused not merely on the increase in aggregate output and income but also on the total quality of standard of living and that there is yet no satisfactory measure of “quality of life” that can be applied toquantitative measure of aggregate output and income which would be acceptable to all and sundry that will stand the test of the time. It can also be said that economic growth means the expansion of a country’s capacity to produce goods and services its people want within a given period. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) refers to the total market value of all final goods and services produced in an economy within a given period (Gbosi and Omoke, 2004).
According to the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNPD), in 2010 Nigeria’s immigrant stock is estimated to reach 1.13 million or 0.7 per cent of the country’s population, estimated at almost 160 million. In absolute terms, the total number of immigrants in Nigeria has increased between 2005 (just below 1 million international immigrants) and 2010, but the share of international migrants as percentage of the population has remained constant. Despite being modest in relative terms, immigration in Nigeria is quite important in absolute numbers. In 2005 and 2010, Nigeria was host to the fourth largest immigrant stock in Africa behind Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and South Africa, which reflects the importance of population flows within the West Africa region and to Nigeria as a destination country. An increase of the share of female migrants as percentage of all international immigrants in Nigeria is noticeable since 1990, when 196,000 female migrants represented 43.8 per cent of the total immigrant stock in Nigeria. In 2000, 342,000 of all international immigrants were women, or 45.6 per cent; and in 2010, women among immigrants were estimated at 535,000 or 47.4 per cent. Therefore, this feminization trend needs to be included in the study of migration flows in Nigeria by institutional and academic circles. This phenomenon should be studied based on the different migration and development perspectives and experiences of men and women. In 2005, the total immigrant stock in Nigeria was estimated at 971,500, of which 80 per cent came from sub-Saharan countries, according to a study by the World Bank ( Ratha and Shaw, 2007), based on estimations by UN PD for 2005. The Population Division of UN DESA had estimated the total stock of immigrants in Nigeria at 972,000. South-South migration in Nigeria plays an important role in terms of national and regional development given the policy responses it calls for regarding labour mobility and migrants’ rights. Differences in the different data presented above are explained in this case by different methodologies and own calculations used by each institution. Also, it is important to note that due to little available information on irregular migration to Nigeria, the total stock of immigrants is likely to be higher. Nigeria’s demographic profile in terms of rural and urban population indicates a strong urbanization process noticeable since 1990, when urban population, estimated at 34.3 million, stood for 35.3 per cent of total population (UN PD, 2008a). In 2000, urban population was estimated at 53 million or 42.57 percent of total population, and in 2010, urban population stands for 49.8 percent of total population, or 78.8 million. In 2007, Nigeria was the ninth most populated country in the world and first in Africa in terms of urban population (UN PD, 2008b). Estimations for years to come highlight a strong tendency to urbanization: forecasts for Nigeria indicate an urban population of 110 million or 56.8 per cent of total population for the year 2020. Estimations for the latter indicate a total population of 193.3 million, and 289 million for the year 2050. Nigeria being the most populated country in Africa, population growth needs to be included in migration management agendas, more specifically concerning internal migration flows, since estimations until 2025 indicate that Nigeria has one of the highest growth rates of urban population in the world at 3.3 per cent (UN PD, 2008b). Population flows linked to Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) in Nigeria are a major migration trend (De Haas, 2006; IOM, 2009). While available migration research on Nigeria clearly points out that forced and voluntary internal migration in the country is a major population flow that should be included on development and migration management agendas, they also point outthat there is scarce data on such trends. A study by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC; IDMC and NRC, 2010), indicates that according to the National Commission for Refugees (NCFR) of Nigeria, there were 1.21 million IDPs in 2007, and 80,000in 2009. Nevertheless, the study clearly states that there are no reliable figures available: the 2007 NCFR figure, for instance, does not make a clear distinction between people still displaced and those who have returned. It is important to note that the National Population Commission (NPC) of Nigeria has recently conducted the ‘2010 Internal Migration Survey (IMS)’. While data from this Survey is not yet available, it will be of great interest to it take into account, since the survey constitutes the first attempt to collect representative data on internal migration in Nigeria nationwide. According to data by the UNHCR (2009), there were 8,500 refugees in Nigeria in 2007, which stood for 0.9 per cent of international immigrant stock in thecountry (UNHCR 2009 and Migration DRC 2007). Also, there were 700 asylum seekers. In 2009, according to data by UNHCR (UNHCR 2010), there were 9,127refugees in Nigeria and 1,145 asylum seekers.
1.2. Statement of the Problem
Nevertheless, attempts have been made to highlight the main causes of international migration in Nigeria. These causes and the factors responsible for them have been conceptualised into push and pull factors. The push factors are the negative conditions at home thatimpel the decision to migrate. These conditions which vary in magnitude from one place to another include, unemployment, loss of jobs, famine, pestilence, lack of professional opportunities to prevalent high mortality levels. The pull factors are the strong positive attributes perceived to be existing at their destinations. They include availability of jobs, professional opportunities, comparatively better socio‐economic environment, and access to medical facilities. These movements have been facilitated by good telecommunication and transportation systems which have made communication possible between those in diaspora and their home countries. The ease of transportation and communication has also encouraged migrants to endure long distances in search of better socio‐economic prospects. Hence, having a large flourishing and skilled diaspora is becoming an asset for any country. In addition, circular migrations whereby migrants visit home periodically with investments, venture capital and technology transfers have potentially helped to stimulate local and international development efforts in their home communities.
However, despite the rapid and high growth profile recorded in Nigeria in the past few years, there is growing consensus amongst analysts that there is widening inequality, increasing poverty and general poor socio-demographic indicators (USAID and FMOH (2008). A major reason for this gloomy performance is because the observed growth is largely from oil exportation. Growth has not generated significant employment to such an extent that significant reduction in poverty and inequality could be established. However, it is believed that the non-oil sector holds the key to the much required poverty reduction as most of the employed labor force is in this sector (Jelilov, Gylych; Onder, Evren, b 2016). The sector produces mainly labor intensive goods and services implying that to participate in this sector, the labor force must be healthy and employed. Critics have argued that economic growth which is supposed to be a stimulus to poverty reduction has contributed to even worse economic and social outcome, only exacerbating the conditions that lead to poverty and vulnerability. Some argued that the output growth are indeed the key to promoting living standard and reducing poverty, while others maintained that economic growth has not been directly contributing to the poverty reduction in so many developing countries (Sahn and Younger 2001; Aigbokhan 2000). The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) estimated the population of Nigeria to be 194 million in 2016, with an average growth rate of 3.28% between 2012 and 2016. Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, recorded the fastest average population growth rate of 9.75%. FSDH Research estimates that Nigeria’s population may grow to 235 million in 2022, given the average growth rates in the population of the states of the federationbetween 2012 and 2016. This represents an average growth rate of 3.31% between 2016 and 2022. We expect five states to contribute about 26% of the total population in 2022. However, it is unclear if the large population is beneficial to the Nigerian economy. Usually, a large population offers a large market size, with immense benefits for economic and commercial activities provided there is a strong purchasing power among the citizenry. Education, healthcare, real estate, consumer goods, financial services, information and communication, power and energy are among the sectors that should benefit from the large population. However, it appears that this is not the case in Nigeria because of several social and economic hindrances in the country.FSDH Research notes that the growth rate in the economy in the last three years is lower than the population growth rate. This trend may continue in the next five years unless urgent measures are taken. The latest unemployment rate from the NBS stood at 18.8% as at Q3 2017. If this trend continues, FSDH Research forecasts that a total of 18 million Nigerians will be unemployed by 2022, compared with 15 million unemployed as at Q3 2017.Needless to say, the issue of poverty in Nigeria is a paradox. It is a case of poverty in the midst of plenty. Updated statistics indicates that about 70 percent of Nigerians currently live below the poverty line of N150 per day. The data also shows that those in the core poverty bracket in urban areas had risen from 25.2 percent to 43 percent in in recent times, while those in the core poverty bracket in the rural areas also rose from 31.6 percent to over 50 percent. Thus, with the improvement in growth rate of gross domestic product, poverty appears to be increasing while social indicators (life expectancy, child mortality and primary school enrolment) have shown negative trends in the current period.
A resolution or informed contribution to this debate would have profound policy implications. For example, an empirical finding which suggests that growth lowers poverty (unemployment, per capita income, poverty index) could spur the necessity for putting in place growth enhancing policy reforms. In the contrast, if it is observed that the level of poverty is reduced in the population is growth enhancing, then it would be noted that social returns on policies of poverty alleviation status have been largely understated, and thus poverty reduction strategies would be part of the set of intervention measures to increase growth. (Obadan, 2001). It is however instructive to carry out an empirical study on the impact of migration on economic growth in Nigeria.
1.3 Research Questions
The paper addresses the following questions:
What is the impact of migration on economic growth in Nigeria?
What has been the nature and extent of relationship between migration and economic growth in Nigeria?
Does economic growth enhances the welfare of the entire migrant in Nigeria?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this research is to examine the impact of migration on economic growth in Nigeria. The specific objectives are:
To examine the impact of migration on economic growth in Nigeria
To identify the nature and extent of relationship between migration and economic growth in Nigeria.
To determine if economic growth enhances the welfare of the entire migrant in Nigeria.
1.5. Research Hypothesis
Ho1: migration has no impact on economic growth in Nigeria
Ho2: there is no significant relationship between migration and economic growth in Nigeria.
Ho3: there is no significant relationship among population, economic growth, and poverty in Nigeria.
1.6. Significance of the study
This research work will be of immense importance because it reveals whether the key to moving Nigeria into solving the effect of migration on economic growth lies in enhancing government policy decision. It is also expected that the findings of the study would provoke further researches into the subject thereby building a strong literature on the subject matter.
This study will be of great importance to the students and other researchers since it will serve as a reference point for future studies.
Finally, this study will be of great importance to the general public as it will help the policy makers to formulate measures in solving the problem of population growth in the country as it enhances economic growth substantially.
1.7 Scope and limitation of the Study
This study aims at examining the impact of migration on economic growth in Nigeria (1987 - 2017). Data and information for this study shall be sourced from National Bureau of Statistics, CBN Statistical Bulletin, Books, internet, among others.
The researcher likely constraints in the course of this research will include; inadequate materials, finance, data sourcing or data inconsistence due to poor nature of information management in Nigeria. In spite of these foreseen problems, efforts are put in place to enhance the quality of this study.
1.8. Organization of the Study
This study will be divided into five (5) chapters and each chapter for specific purpose to make the work easier. Chapter one is Introduction, chapter two which covers literature review, theoretical literature, empirical literature, theoretical framework and gaps in literature. Chapter Three entails the research methodology. Chapter Four focuses on empirical analysis, data presentation and presentation of the result. Chapter Five (5) is devoted for the summary of the study, the conclusion on the study, recommendations and suggestions for further study.