We all seem to have that one uncle, aunty, or friend abroad who never sends something home to assist the family. So when we hear about diaspora remittances in billions of Naira, we wonder if those sending money have two heads. Here are some things to remember before thinking negatively.
They Haven’t Been Able to Stand on their Feet
Your aunt Margaret moved to the United Kingdom last year. The day she left, you accompanied her to the airport. You waved and waved until she was entirely out of sight. You envied Aunt Margaret and wished you could be smuggled into her suitcase. Anyway, you consoled yourself; she’ll be sending you money occasionally. Yet, a year later, your aunt hasn’t sent you a penny. Whenever you ask her to support you with pocket money for school, she always has an excuse to give. While it is possible that Aunt Margaret doesn’t want to provide you with cash, it is also possible that she hasn’t been able to settle down abroad. She is still struggling with finding her feet in this new county. She might not be well paid and might be between jobs. Also, she might need additional education for her career and has to go to school. You never can tell.
They have too many bills to pay
People in the Western world live differently. They have to pay a lot of bills. Bills include Mortgage, tax, overdrafts, personal loans, car finance, mobile phone bill, broadband bill, water bill, student loans, and many more. More so, the cost of monthly accommodation is very high. The cost of living is also not cheap. So when you ask your family in the diaspora for money amidst all these bills they have to pay, they will likely not send you money.
The Process involved in sending you money
With the advent of technology, it is easier to send money nowadays. Your loved one abroad can easily change the money to Naira and send it to you. However, it takes some effort to do that, and your loved one might get discouraged along the way. They might not trust the accessible apps of today and will not want to go to the bank and send you little money via western union. If they had been at home, sending an urgent 2k to you would have been easy.
They have their problems.
Always remember this. No matter how wealthy a person is, they also have problems. They could be facing health issues, illness and death of family members, work headaches, marital problems, etc. When you ask them for money, they could become irritated and deem you insensitive. Abroad is not paradise.
You’re not the only one making demands.
Your friend or relative abroad whom you’re asking for money also has other friends and family asking them. That leaves them in a situation where they have to prioritize. Who is more important? Whose needs are more pressing? Whom can I trust? So if they don’t send money to you, it’s likely there are other pressing demands being attended to.
They could be afraid of Scams.
Scammers have so many tactics. They could hack into your phone and defraud your contacts. This is one reason why Nigerians in Diaspora only send money to close family members. Some do not send money until they return to the country. People get scammed a lot nowadays. So everyone has the right to be unreasonable.
You’ll make it a habit and always come back asking for more
This might not sound like a nice thing to say. But it’s the truth. No one likes being constantly asked for money. So what could go through Aunt Margaret’s mind is, ‘If I give this young man money today, whenever he has problems, I will be his go-to person, and he will keep coming back.’ To overcome this, there are a few things you could do:
- Instead of just asking for money, why not think of a small business idea to help you provide for yourself? Your relative will want you to stand alone, so if they have the funds and the love, they might help.
- Always prove yourself trustworthy and responsible. People abroad work very hard for their money. So if an uncle or Aunt finds out you are wasteful with money, they’ll struggle to give you anything.
- Sympathize with them. Do not speak in a way that suggests they have a deep reservoir of hard currency. Show empathy. Tell them you understand things are hard over there and only ask for money if you truly need it.
Do not vilify your friends and relatives because they are abroad and do not want to help you. Instead, try to see things from a different angle. Maintain your friendship with them. We all need each other.