Brain Drain And Its impact on Nigeria


Brain Drain And Its impact on Nigeria

It has become very possible for workers to transfer their human capital from one firm to another firm within a country, this possibility can also be extended beyond the country’s border.

A brain drain occurs when there is a transmigration of a relatively high number of well-cultivated and skilled workers. A grand example of such workers may include, doctors, nurses, scientists, teachers, and engineers, this set of already established individuals would take the human capital they have gained in the country of their origin to another provincial district that never participated or even had the expense of educating and training them.

Several developing countries, including Nigeria, experience a brain drain, whereas a number of developed countries experience what has by time been addressed as a “Brain Gain“. A brain gain occurs when a country benefits from the human capital that immigrants have obtained from their country of origin.

Nigeria being the centrepiece and case study of both Africa and this article has experienced her fair share of the theme, even with a healthy economy the rate of unemployment and low salary has made many skilled individuals opt for greener pastures elsewhere beyond the borders.

Nigeria started to experience a significant brain drain in the 1970s. The figures later declined somewhat in recent years, but remain relatively high at an estimated figure of 22,000 per year.

As earlier implied this figure remained quite dominant only being altered few times supposedly because of the large number of Doctors, teachers, lecturers, and engineers that emigrate yearly in search of higher payments, better working conditions, and the essential capital equipment to work with.

An approximated figure of about 3 million Nigerian professional workers has recently been discovered working in the USA and Canada, not only there but also to a range of other countries like the UK, Australia and everything South Africa.

There are currently only 0.4 doctors per 1,000 people in Nigeria, which is contrary to the UN recommendation of at least 2.3 doctors per 1,000 people. The lack of doctors as well as other prominent health workers has affected the health infrastructure as well as the quality of medical care in the country, their emigration has furthermore emboldened more affluent Nigerians to follow suit, for work purposes and medical treatment.

The effect of brain drain

  • The most apparent drawback is the loss of skilled personalities and labour, this loss may do as much as diminish the quantity and quality of the country’s output.
  • The stock of the time to come human capital may be deceased. With a lesser number of teachers, lecturers, and doctors, productivity may deteriorate
  • Having fewer well-educated and skilled workers in the country would discourage multinational companies from setting up there. This as we have all witnessed in our Nigerian society has led to a lot of misplaced potentials and unemployment.

  • Distortion may be put in place as the focus of some research and specialisms may become malformed, take for example an architect might invest all of his time focusing on developing his skills in designing buildings that he feels would likely be in high demand by rich countries, whereas the building needs in his country may be very different.

  • It results in wastage of resources, the world is a circle figuratively speaking In the sense that what the community gives to an individual he returns it, with this circle everybody become developed amidst benefiting from their partnership both the community and the individual but when there is a brain drain the individual elopes with the community’s resources and spends it elsewhere thereby enriching himself at the expense of his deteriorating community.

  • With the brain drain, there would be a significant increase in the dependency ratio. Workers who emigrate at times bury their relatives along with their past, they sometimes fail to send money and other tangible products back, the dependants as time progresses would fall in living standards and eventually begin to rely on state benefits.

As there is always an advantage there is also a disadvantage and vice versa,  those who tend to emigrate may send money back, this money is known as “remittances” this may tend to increase the living standard. Remittance also improves the account stationing in the country’s balance of payment.

It brings about brain circulation; this is a situation where highly skilled or well-educated individuals who work abroad bring their expertise back to their country of origin.

To curb a brain drain, the institution wielding power should endeavour to raise the quality of life so that skilled workers can retain satisfaction in their own country.

For such to be made avail, improving economic performance shouldn’t only be a speech in an electoral campaign it should also manifest in every reality know to a working-class citizen, by doing so the wages of skilled workers would increase and their working conditions and chances of promotion would improve. Other factors that have an impact on living conditions should be looked into, the likes of corruption, crime, and other negative vices should be tackled.

In Nigeria, an increase in investment in education, health care, and power system would result in the availability of more job opportunities, raise labour productivity, aggrandize the reliability of power, minimize cost and improve living standards.

Igbaji Ugabi Chinwendu, from Cross River State, Nigeria. As a Business Educator, he is profoundly interested in teaching and managing business. Started blogging 2010 and officially 2013. He holds the esteemed positions of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director at Freemanbiz Communication and Writers King LTD, demonstrating his leadership and expertise in the field.


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