The response to this question depends on the perception of various countries about Nigeria.
According to Babagana Zannah a Full Stack Software Engineer who had lived in Egypt, UK, US, Canada and Germany and who is a Nigerian citizen, he gives his view on how Nigeria was viewed by the international community.
Firstly, Egyptians mostly millennial actually think Egypt is not from Africa. So, a lot of times when I am passing by I hear people yelling “Afrikiya” meaning someone from Africa.
When you meet an educated Egyptian and you told him you’re from Nigeria, the first thing that comes their mind is football and they’ll start mentioning players like Okocha, Kanu etc.
Egyptians still remember that African Cup of Nations match which we defeated them badly. So as a general conception, Egyptians believe Nigerians can play really good football.
I was our captain and a key player in the college starting X1. I often get invites from students and sometimes teams to play in tournaments and leagues.
Though, in “Aashir” Cairo, there few Nigerians doing drugs and weed which gave the other goods Nigerians some bad image across Cairo.
Also, few Nigerians have committed fatal crimes around Cairo, and that is the reason why some landlords and senior citizens are generally scared of Nigerians. However, most Egyptians do think that Nigerians are rich and hardworking.
Here, the situation is different. There are many Nigerians that are very high in the cooperate ladder (CEOs, CTOs, CFOs etc.).
As a Nigerian Software Engineer, I enjoyed a credible working environment which I am being treated fairly. I sometime felt at home in the UK because they understood what it means to be a professional and intelligent.
However, that been said, in Coventry, Bradford and other cities where Nigerians are plenty, they commit bad crimes like (drugs, weed, internet scam) which will then lead to their deportation.
Also, many Nigerians are over stayers and illegal in the UK, yet, they are very hardworking, sponsoring themselves to college and eventually staying for decades making the UK a better place.
Many Nigerians are now citizens of UK having stayed there to obtain their permanent residence and eventually citizenship. There are also a lot of Nigerians in the academic sector of the UK.
In London, there are popular streets where elite Nigerians are found in abundance. Generally, UK sees Nigeria fairly good per se.
With regards to the US, there is no much to say. Most of the times I am being treated like a regular African American.
However, educated and tolerant Americans know pretty well that Nigerians are intelligent, hardworking, committed to their cause.
There are 3000+ practicing medical doctors that are from Nigeria in the US. 95% of Nigerians living in the US are educated. Therefore, the numbers says it all at any rate.
Just like in the UK, it is also similar in Canada. Canadians are generally tolerant, and I had the opportunity to blend into the society without so much headache.
Though, in French dominated areas of Canada, their senior citizens tend to feel insecure around heavily dark skinned individuals.
Nigerians are present in private firms, academics, medical sectors among others. Our reputation is not bad in Canada.
I am currently living here. Hmm, you get the point. I will conclude this answer in two years’ time.
Here is how the foreign society according to Jeanine Jooste who works at Graphic Design see us.
I can only answer for myself and don’t speak for others. Those people that I know that have travelled there for business have only been to Lagos or Abuja and they all generally said that it was a dirty, busy city with poor infrastructure. But they also said the people were generally friendly and energetic.
My perceptions of Nigeria is that it generates very entrepreneurial people. Many Nigerians come to South Africa to start up businesses, some are very successful, but they have a bad reputation for dabbling in all sorts of unlawful activities, like selling drugs. I am sure if one had to draw the statistics, it would probably prove that Nigerians only form a small part of our overall crime problem and that the perception that Nigerians are always criminals, is false. However, this is still the popular perception.
My understanding is that Nigeria has a lot of oil resources, and whomever controls it, are raking in all the cash, and that Nigeria is similar to most other african countries, in that a small minority of people are getting rich off this resource and the rest of the population have to fend for themselves.
A few years ago, South Africa was in the spot-light again for xenophobic attacks on non-South Africans. On a news blog article, what I found the most interesting was actually the comments section. MANY people from all over Africa, but Nigerians especially, expressed their dismay that black South Africans were killing and harming other Africans, “their brothers”, many Nigerians called black south africans “lazy”, lazy for not creating their own opportunities but instead harming foreigners that had entered South Africa and purely by means of hard work and determination, managed to make a living or start a business.
This gave me the impression that Nigerians are hard-working and proud, and that they do not have this sense of entitlement that we sometimes encounter here in South Africa. My impression has always been that the people from Nigeria have a lot of spunk.
This is completely from my experience living in those countries. I hope you enjoyed it.