An underpopulated southern Italian region is offering newcomers including Nigerians,€700 (N276,635) per month for three years accruing to about €25,000 (N9,879,852) to live in one of its villages.
These persons are, however, mandated to open a business and the population of each village is to be kept under 2,000.
“If we had offered funding, it would have been yet another charity gesture,” Donato Toma, the president of Molise, told the Guardian UK. “We wanted to do more; we wanted people to invest here. They can open any sort of activity: a bread shop, a stationery shop, a restaurant, anything. It’s a way to breathe life into our towns while also increasing the population.”
The International Organisation for Migration reports that in the second quarter of 2018, Nigerians made up 13 per cent of the migrant population in Italy, a spot it shared with fellow West African state, Guinea.
The offer by the President of Molise is appetising to Nigeria’s Igbo retailers and importers, who build dynasties as well as expand their footprint through informal apprenticeships.