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Return to Nigeria: a new chance with own trading company

The team from the Nigerian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration supports returnees like Christopher.

Return to Nigeria: a new chance with own trading company

Christopher returned to Nigeria because he had no prospects in Germany. The Nigerian-German Centre helped him set up his shop for spare parts for cars.

My name is Christopher. In 2015, I sold everything I owned and went to Germany. I thought I would earn a lot of money quickly there. But it was hard. In Germany, it wasn't as easy as I had imagined. I went to Munich and applied for asylum, but it was rejected. It was difficult to live in Germany without the right papers.

I then learned that GIZ was offering support if I returned to Nigeria. I decided to return to the unknown. I finally travelled to Nigeria in March 2021.

It was difficult for me at the beginning. I even thought of leaving Nigeria again because I was so frustrated. But I told myself that I was born here and therefore I should try to overcome the challenges.

After five weeks, I turned to the Nigerian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (NGC). As promised in Germany, the NGC supported me in my first accommodation and in setting up my business. The centre facilitated training for me to become a car parts dealer. I was also trained on how to run a business.

From a difficult start to success

The demand for catalytic converters for cars in Nigeria is high. But the business is highly competitive. There are many who sell these products. My business is in Ladipo, which is the biggest market for car spare parts in Nigeria. When I started the business, I faced a lot of challenges. For example, I couldn't find a vacant shop near the main road where customers buy their spare car parts. Instead, I got a shop, far inside the market, where no catalytic converters are actually sold.

I had to compete with established dealers, some of whom have been in business for more than 20 years. Many buyers only go to dealers they already know. Therefore, for the first few weeks I made no sales and had lots of expenses for living and transporting my goods. I was afraid of being left with nothing when my money and reserves ran out.

Growing the business

I then started wooing customers at different places in the market. I managed to convince some of them to buy from me. By the second month I was already making some sales, and by the fifth month things were finally going better: people knew me, I had built up a small network and made a name for myself with my business. I am happy to have my own customer base now.

My goal is to expand the business. I want to travel abroad and buy the car spare parts myself, as this is more profitable for me. I even plan to travel to Germany because there are many spare car parts there. Many dealers in the market buy their spare parts in Germany. I hope to expand my business by buying goods not only for myself but also for other traders during my trips.

Role model for others

Of my friends, I was the only one who returned to Nigeria. The others had doubts and were unsure. It was agreed that I would be the first to go back to our home country and then report how it is.

When the NGC started supporting me, I told my friends about it. We kept in touch, and I kept them informed of my progress. My success has already encouraged five of them to return to Nigeria as well. Things are difficult in Nigeria. But still, many are doing better here than getting nowhere abroad. And with support from the NGC, you can manage to build a new life.

As of: 06/2023

This text is written in simple language to ensure that it’s easy for everyone to understand.

My success has encouraged some Nigerians to return from Germany. Christopher

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