Amid Governor Hope Uzodimma’s plan to send 4,000 Imo youths to Europe, including Canada, for employment opportunities, concerns are mounting regarding housing issues for these young individuals in Canada.

Recent reports from cities like Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton in Canada highlight the challenges faced by Nigerians, particularly those from the South East States of Nigeria who have constituted a significant portion of the recent wave of Nigerian immigrants to Canada.

These reports reveal that despite the initial enthusiasm of embarking on a new life in Canada, the reality for many Nigerians has been far from ideal. Several have found themselves in dire situations, even resorting to living in cemeteries or on the streets.

The key issue underlying this situation is the substantial increase in housing rent costs across various Canadian cities. Data from Rentals.ca indicates that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Canada has surged to CA$2,078 (approximately N1.170 million). In Vancouver, the most expensive city, one-bedroom accommodations demand an average of CA$3,000 (about N1.68 million) per month.

Further exacerbating the problem, rentseeker.ca reports that a studio apartment in Toronto costs CA$1,860 (N1.04 million), with even higher prices in Mississauga, where a studio apartment can cost CA$2,351 (approximately N1.32 million).

The reality of these exorbitant housing costs is that they are unaffordable for many Nigerians who arrived in Canada on student visas without work permits, leaving them with limited options, often pushing them into unconventional living situations.

In response to these concerns, Engr Rufus Igwe, a senior citizen of Imo State, has called on the state government to take into account the housing crisis in Canada before sending Imo youths to the country. He emphasizes the need for careful planning to ensure that these youths do not become victims of the housing affordability challenge.

Hon Emma Mbanasor, a businessman, also supports the initiative but highlights the importance of addressing accommodation issues, given the high cost of housing in Canada. He suggests that more detailed arrangements should be made to ensure the well-being of the Imo youths sent abroad for job opportunities.

This situation underscores the significance of comprehensive planning and support on the part of the State government to ensure the success and well-being of Imo youths seeking opportunities in Canada and Europe.

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Here are the average monthly rents for one-bedroom apartments in Canada’s cities, according to rentseeker.ca.

Toronto: $2196 (about N1.62 million)

Ottawa: $1735 (about N1.28 million)

Calgary: $1647 (about N1.22 million)

Montreal: $1558 (about N1.15 million)

Edmonton: $1301 (about N961,740)

Vancouver: $2755 (about N2.04 million)

Hamilton: $1841 (about N1.36 million)

Mississauga: $2351 (about N1.74 million)

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