The Japa Era and Impact on Economy – Part 1

Adeola Owolabi Written by Adeola Owolabi · 2 min read >

Nigeria is facing a second wave of mass migration and this time it is the growth drivers that are being poached by the western world and more than half of the 53.7 percent of the Nigerian population that are predominantly youth are being targeted. Implying that the economic engine of the country is being attracted by the western nations. The question to ask is how do we weather the storm of global economy crises while the majority of our youthful population are being lured out of the continent? How do we attain our potential as a nation when the intellectual warehouse of our country is pulled aggressively. Yes, we can say, we are exporting talents to other nations in exchange for future foreign remittances back to Nigeria. However, evidently we are trading away our potential opportunities for economy transformation at little or no price, the energy warehouse and intellectual bank of the nation are being taken right in our eyes yet we fold our arms and watch. I make bold to say that the Japa era does not only affect Nigerian employers but the entire nation’s economy and the future of the unborn generation is at risk of slow development.

Let us bear in mind that most of the people relocating to the US, UK and Canada are working class professionals in various field, with good income, however, chose to relocate for safety and stability. Some of these professionals include; Doctors, Bankers, IT professionals and Auditors/Big 4 staff.

My interviews with doctors

It is important that I let you know I do not joke with my health or that of my family members, therefore, I have been to the hospital several times this year and each opportunity I have, I engage the doctors to have their view about their colleagues who have left the country for greener pastures. To my greatest surprise, 7 out of 9 doctors I have spoken to so far (this year alone), were already processing their relocation while one just smiled at me and another one told me that I should warn people I know not to take Okada ride, as there are about 10 Neurosurgeon in Lagos, which is quite inadequate (though, I am yet to verify this claim).  

Generally, their view is that the government is not giving the deserved attention to health care and health workers, hence, the need to go to countries where adequate attention is given to heath sector.

So, the question is, should doctors be blamed for leaving the country in droves? I leave you to answer the question, but before you do so, make it a point of duty to speak to doctors at any opportunity you have, especially those in government hospitals.

The effect of doctors migrating is numerous, given that a population of over 200 million is left with fewer doctors, which makes it more challenging to access quality health care, as the theory of demand and supply comes to play, resulting to high cost of accessing health care and in turn, a drain on the income of who so ever needs care.

Therefore, a lot needs to be done to rescue the health sector in order to retain the doctors who are yet to relocate and also attract those who have relocated to come back to Nigeria.

Watch out for the concluding part of “The Japa Era and Impact on Economy – Part 2” with focus on Bankers, IT professional and Auditors/Big 4 staff.

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