Japa syndrome: England good, Nigeria better, 97-year old Funke Arthur-Worrey says

Mon, Apr 15, 2024
By editor


A former President of the International Women’s Society, Olufunke Arthur-Worrey, says that the crave by Nigerians to seek greener pastures abroad, otherwise known as Japa, is uncalled for as Nigeria and Nigerians are endowed with traits and resources to be better than the countries overseas.

Arthur-Worrey, who is also the Head of the Society’s Trustee, gave the advice in an interview on Sunday in Lagos.

The activist spoke on the state of the nation ahead of her 97 years birthday anniversary coming up on April 23.

The Lagos Socialite, known as Aunty Funke, who relocated alongside her family from England to Nigeria in 1960, described “England as good but Nigeria better”.

She called on the government to create an enabling environment for Nigerians, especially youths to actualise themselves.

The great grandmother flashed back to her youthful days and Nigeria’s glorious days when people only go abroad to acquire education and come back home to work for the development of the country.

According to her, the passion for national interest was the sing-song as there existed among youths the healthy competition to be the best in your career with the zeal to come home to domesticate that which one acquired to project national growth and development.

“Mind you the intention was to go and acquire needed skills that was lacking here for national development and not to go there, work and live forever that youths today have in mind.

“That aspect of our pre-independence national consciousness should be rekindled in our people with enablement such as constant electricity, security, good road network, social security and entrepreneurship incentives.

“Our people like to acquire education; education should be made affordable to all so that our institutions, the ivory centre of innovative research is tailored to domestic social needs.

“The unique cultural heritage of Africans of communal lifestyle that is lacking in the western world should be mainstreamed as a social mobilisation strategy for people to internalise as national development catalyst to be engraved in the minds,” she said.

The Charter member and former President of Ikeja Lioness Club, now Ikeja Golden Lion Club, that relishes vacations in some Nigerian natural sites such as the Osogbo waterfall, the Yankari Games Reserve and others, said the insecurity in the country was halting investment and revenues from the sector, and regretted that she no longer enjoyed those again.

She noted that her teen days were much better than the present as they had the whole community to look after them and nip any iota of child derailment in the bud.

According to her, with the population increase, government may not be able to create the needed jobs to absorb all unlike during her days.

She advised the government to expose the creative ingenuity of Nigerian youths that has continued to make them attractive to the outside world, create enabling environment for such traits to be deployed to gainfully engage people.

She said that with such development strategy amenities in place, jobs would be created, people would be gainfully engaged and wealth created and the crave for traveling abroad would be halted.

Arthur-Worrey is a Melvin Jones Fellow, the highest honour conferred by the International Association of Lions Clubs for commitment to philanthropic works and a District Governor Merit Awardee.

She also holds the chieftaincy titles of: The Ayen Raguenghen Rovie of Ughelli in Delta State, the Ajoji of Badagry and the Otun Yeyegunwa of Ife.


April 15, 2024 @ 10:30 GMT

By Eletuo