Some remarks made by Nigerian Youtuber Emdee Tiamiyu during an interview with the BBC continue to face criticism and backlash.
Tiamiyu, popular for providing advice to Nigerians on studying in the UK, stated that many individuals were not seeking new qualifications but were rather looking to start a new life abroad.
According to him, most Nigerians who applied for education in the UK considered it as an alternative means to escape their home country.
He expressed, “The student route is more like an answered prayer. It is a big bracket that can accommodate a lot of people, especially ordinary individuals. We are starting to realize that many people simply use the student status as a cover. So, the idea of being a student is not genuine, and they don’t necessarily need the degrees.”
Tiamiyu, currently residing in Birmingham, gave the interview following the introduction of new immigration rules that would restrict Nigerian students, as well as other international students in the UK, from bringing their families as dependants unless under specific circumstances.
Effective January 2024, the new regulations aim to prevent the misuse of the visa system by removing the provision that allowed international students to switch from the student route to work routes before completing their studies.
Many Nigerians who were displeased with Tiamiyu’s comments felt that he had jeopardized the chances of those who genuinely intended to pursue their education in the UK.
Others regarded him as a clout chaser seeking popularity. The controversy surrounding his statements highlights the divide in opinions regarding the motivations behind studying abroad and the impact of the new immigration rules on prospective Nigerian students.
This is Emdee Tiamiyu, a Yoruba man from Osun State. This is the man that has destroyed the hope of millions of young Nigerians in this generation and generation unborn by revealing the means they use to escape poverty, oppression and hardship in Nigeria.