How Ibrahim Sodiq’s acquired skill boost his passion and income in his homeland
Ibrahim Sodiq a graduate of electrical engineering worked as a contract technician for an electrical company earning a daily income of 2,500 Nigerian naira. He didn’t have enough to fend for himself and care for his sick mother and siblings. Faced with these and other socio-economic challenges, Sodiq decided to migrate to Europe – through the dangerous desert route – with the dream to get better opportunity.
The journey on road to Libya lasted three months, from Lagos to Kano to Agadez and cramped in the back of an open pickup truck, Sodiq and other travellers crossed the desert into Libya. Sodiq arrived Tripoli in November 2017. He secured a job as a painter, a job he didn’t like but had to do to survive while hanging on his dream to study and work as an electrician in Europe.
Having spent one year and four months out of Nigeria with limited earnings and the dwindling opportunity to cross the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Sodiq felt insecure about his prospects in Libya and decided to apply for the voluntary return to Nigeria with IOM. He returned to Lagos in December 2018 where he was reunited with his family. Upon return, Sodiq received a cash grant from IOM, which he used to cover his immediate needs. Within weeks of his return, he received a call for technical training from Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF). The training was organised by LSEFT with funding from GIZ’s Skills Development for Youth Employment in Nigeria (SKYE) programme.
I had no idea what I would do when I returned to Nigeria, but I knew I made the right choice coming home especially when I got the training offer – electricals have been my passion, so this was my chance to grow in the field I love.“
After eight weeks of hands-on training as an electrician, Sodiq is now settled back in Lagos. He has utilized the reintegration skills support received to find better (contract) jobs while going through the mandatory three-months internship programme. Being self-employed, Sodiq said has help him earn more money than he did before.
Thanks to the partnership of LSETF and GIZ-SKYE programme I now have the skills I needed as an Engineer to execute jobs and earn more money than before – supporting not just my own family but also I have two employees working with me on a project,” Sodiq said happy with the training gained. “I am about to sign two more contracts that will yield more income, the training was essential and of great value to me! I will continue to learn and hope to establish my own business soon.”
Sodiq’s story is one of the hundreds of vulnerable young Nigerians who venture across the desert and Mediterranean Sea in search of better opportunities in Europe. However, with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through the SKYE programme young Nigerians are acquiring skills that will help them gain better (self-)employment in their country. The GIZ implemented SKYE programme has trained over 1,700 young Nigerians in construction and cross-cutting professions since its inception in June 2018.