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NEWS UPDATE: Fredrick Nwabufo: Nigerian youths and the ‘japa’ syndrome

NEWS UPDATE: Fredrick Nwabufo: Nigerian youths and the ‘japa’ syndrome

Migration is a fixed; it is a wheel that keeps roving. Yes, it is in the nature of man to be peripatetic. People will displace from one location to some other for job opportunities, education, wellness, security and for whatever corporeal or incorporeal desideratum. This is basic.

The firstly of moving ridge of ‘’japa’’ (Nigerian slang for emigration) in Nigeria was in the ‘70s/’80s. Faced with an uncertain time to come owing to war machine interregnums and a volatile economic system, the Nigerian immature journeyed to the Westward — the US and UK — spell some left on a limb to Ukraine. Over the years to a greater extent Nigerians have departed the country in pursuit of their dreams abroad. Some of these Diaspora Nigerians have distinguished themselves in different human enterprises. And they constitute a financial bulwark for the country, reportedly remitting in relation to $25 billion annually.

Emigration may fifty-fifty be favourable to the home country in the long run whether citizens homecoming fortified with skills, experience and tough currency to invest and drive evolution. But to attract these human assets, the home country must be conducive and the authorities must be deliberate and visionary in relation to its plans and policies for Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Nigerians have not been the only ones ‘’japaing’’, the Chinese have been leaving their country in stupendous numbers since the ‘80s. In fact, prior to the 1980s when liberal emigration policies were enacted, China had witnessed an exodus of its citizens in the 19th century. These emigrants left the country owing to poverty, corruption, state of war and full general societal malaise. The authorities had to enforce laws to curb mass emigrations. But in the 1980s, it relaxed these laws in line with its vaunted but convoluted ‘’laisser-faire’’ approach to governance. Since the ‘80s to a greater extent Chinese have left their country.

In a 2014 article, ‘The Great Chinese Exodus’, The Wall Street Magazine reported the why and wherefores of the Chinese emigration. It said: ‘’Nowadays, China’s borders are broad open. Nearly anybody who wants a passport can acquire one. And Chinese nationals are leaving in huge waves: Lastly yr, to a greater extent than 100 million outbound travellers crossed the frontiers. Most are tourists who come up home. But rapidly growing numbers are college students and the wealthy, and many of them rest absent for good. A survey by the Shanghai research firm Hurun Written report shows that 64% of China’s rich—defined as those with assets of to a greater extent than $1.6 million—are either emigrating or planning to.’’

Whether citizens of a global powerfulness and first-class country similar China could be exiting in legions, should it be concerning that immature citizens of Nigeria are taking precipitous flights out of the country? Good, it should unnerve us. It agency we have not created a congenial surroundings to hold the live-wire of the country, and it implies that we may be doing something wrong.

In relation to 8,737 doctors who obtained their degrees in Nigeria are currently practising in the UK. According to the UK Full general Medical Council, 862 Nigerian doctors were licensed to practise in the country in 2020; spell betwixt June 2021 and September 2021, 353 doctors were registered to practise in the UK.

This should problem us all – in a country where the ratio of doc per patient is 1:5,000 against the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of 1:600. Nigerians who earned their degrees in Nigeria are existence harvested by foreign countries. A few months agone, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was conducting a screening exercise for Nigerian doctors it wanted to magic absent in Lagos and Abuja. And we hold losing invaluable human resources.

Patch a mass of Nigerians (doctors, tech experts, academics, students) leaving the country constitutes a important drain to the national talent puddle, the other horde of citizens exiting are those frustrated by the afflictions of the system but largely unskilled. We should not in whatsoever way deride those seeking economical refuge abroad, but it is uncharitable to trim down Nigeria to a desert of opportunities — where personal growth and accomplishments are totally arid – as some are opining.

The fecundity of a location most times depends on how willing we are to tend it. I strongly believe we can plant our seed anywhere, body of water and tend it, and take in it grow. Nigeria is not arid of opportunities.

Those making a spectacle of their emigration from Nigeria on social media as whether the country is some infernal and desolate location only fit for depressing creatures, will realise before long plenty that their identity as individuals abroad is intrinsically linked to Nigeria. Our firstly contact with the world exterior our native sphere is as Nigerians; and we will be seen, evaluated or judged as Nigerians.

Ridiculing Nigeria to create a dot is self-immolation. We are all eternally connected to Nigeria, and whatever image we projection of our country, we create of ourselves.

We can create treasures out of the exodus of Nigerian citizens by next the China representative. China’s Diaspora contributed immensely in the ascent of China as a global powerfulness – through working capital investment, engineering transfer, and innovation. It has fifty-fifty been argued that the Chinese Diaspora appropriated Western engineering and transferred it dorsum home. The Chinese authorities considers its citizens in Diaspora as an extension of China and as agents to drive its domestic involvement. The authorities intervenes direct in the lives of its citizens abroad, fifty-fifty influencing projects in areas populated by Chinese.

It is not all lost. The Nigerian authorities can create lemonade out of these lemons – only whether it wills it.

By Fredrick Nwabufo,’Mr OneNigeria’

Twitter/Instagram/Facebook: @FredrickNwabufo

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