Issues Review

“Japa”: Current Brain Drain Will Soon Be Nigeria’s Brain Gain – Obi

japa peter obi

Presidencial contender for the Labour Party, HE Peter Obi has endorsed the ‘japa’ syndrome, aka, the mass emigration of Nigerians seeking better opportunities abroad, asserting that it will be advantageous for Nigeria in the long run. He believes that the current “brain drain” will eventually become the country’s “brain gain.”

Mr Obi is a candidate for the opposition Labour Party in the February 25 presidential election. He has frequently portrayed himself as a skilled economic strategist and prudent entrepreneur.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Mr. Obi concurred with Bill Gates’ recent comments on the ‘japa syndrome.’ Gates reportedly stated that the increasing number of Nigerian professionals leaving the country for greener pastures is good and healthy for Nigeria.

The former Anambra governor emphasized that he has always maintained the position that “Our brain drain today will be our brain gain tomorrow.” He added that although it may appear to be a loss now, when Nigeria starts taking governance more seriously, the knowledge and resources gained from those who left will be crucial for building a better nation. He cited examples of countries like China, India, and Ireland, where this phenomenon has occurred.

The rising cost of living, unemployment, and poverty in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, have forced many to seek refuge and opportunities abroad. Mr. Obi’s comments come shortly after the International College of Surgeons, Nigerian Section, expressed concern over the significant exodus of Nigerian doctors to the UK in search of better prospects.

The organization estimated that approximately 6,221 Nigerian doctors have left for the UK in the past six years. As a result, Nigeria now has a ratio of one doctor to over 4,000 patients, which falls far short of the World Health Organization’s recommendation of one doctor for every 600 patients.

SOURCE: gazettengr


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