Molise, an underpopulated region in Italy, is offering newcomers, including Nigerian migrants, an active residency allowance of €700 per month for three years accruing to about €25,000 (N9,879,852) to live there, Guardian reports.
However, the newcomers are mandated to open a business and the population of each village is to be kept under 2,000.
“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.
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“It’s a way to breathe life into our towns while also increasing the population. If we had offered funding, it would have been yet another charity gesture,” Donato Toma, President of Molise, said.
The scheme, to be launched this month, is designed to combat depopulation, a chronic problem throughout rural Italy and especially in poorer southern regions.
According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat), Molise, with a population of 305,000, is among the regions that has lost more inhabitants in recent years – in excess of 9,000 have left since 2014.