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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Engineers urge federal government to look into rising migrations challenges facing Nigeria


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by Hosea Yusuf

The Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) has called on the federal government of Nigeria to look into the rising migrations challenges facing Nigeria, saying it may make the country less attractive for foreign direct investments.

The president of the society, Engr Tasiu Sa’ad Gidari-Wudil said this yesterday, at the Charles Mbanefo 1st Memorial Lecture of Nigeria Society of Engineers, Abuja Branch, in Abuja, titled “Rising emigration of professionals and impact on Nigeria’s development: A case study of Engineers.”

The NSE president who was represented by his deputy president; Engr. Margret Aina Oguntala, stated that the evidence has shown, many young and elderly Nigerians are bent on leaving the country in which they have lost hope of opportunities to realise their life ambitions.

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He said, “It is my pleasure and delight to address you today at this annual event which honours our great leader, father, mentor, friend, a Fellow and Past President of the great and honourable the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Late Engr. Charles Mbanefo.

“Since the approval of the Abuja Branch by the NSE Council in 1985, The Branch has continually played its role as the Mother Branch to all branches of NSE in the FCT, priding itself as “the Unity Branch”.

“Today’s lecture has taken a dimension from our regular technical discuss and touching on issues concerning us as citizens of our great Nation, Nigeria; Rising Emigration of Professionals and Impact on Nigerian’s Development, A Case Study of Engineers.

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“You will agree with me that this has become a recent trend “Japa”. Many, if not all of our young people, even families and adults want to leave the country in search of greener pastures, and Engineers are not left out.

“In recent times, Nigeria has witnessed a significant increase in the number of trained skilled workers migrating to other countries, particularly to the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Many of the emigrants are graduates, trained in Nigeria’s highly-subsidised universities. These Nigerian graduates take with them years of training and skills to foreign countries.

“These human capital exports have raised many concerns about the consequent deprivation in many of Nigeria’s struggling sectors, which in turn affects our economic development, leading to low productivity and total absence of skilled workers in many sectors.

“To stem the negative effects on the emigration, it is pertinent to ensure that a safe and livable environment is created while wages and conditions of services for personnel must be improved. But, looking at this from a different point of view. For a long-term gain, it is good to allow our professionals go out, to get more knowledge that will boost and impact our economy.

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“And when the government and other stakeholders create an enabling environment, they will come back and positively impact the economy. That I see in the good intentions of COREN with respect to the Washington Accord.”

He further said that it is very important that the Branch keys into the core focuses of this administration, especially as it concerns the professional development and welfare of members.

“You are equally encouraged to carry out community projects, to create an impact in your community of residence mentorship of young Engineers.

“I must commend NSE Abuja Branch for your programmes and community projects carried out in recent times, well done. All of these are prerequisites for your participation in the Branch Group Dynamics competition which you are encouraged to win,” he stated.

In the same vein , the former UN special Rapporteur on Trafficking in persons, Emeritus, Prof. Joy Ngozi Ezeilo said Nigeria has witnessed a significant increase in the number of trained skilled workers migrating to other countries, particularly to the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.

Ezeilo said the number of first-time asylum seekers from Nigeria to Europe peaked in 2016, with nearly 40,000 Nigerians arriving in Italian shores, before subsiding in late-2017. Less than 1 percent of Nigeria’s population are international migrants, a much lower share than their peer countries.

“Indeed, the United Nations 2020 International Migration Report shows that Nigeria is among the topmost countries in Africa and the topmost in the West African sub-region whose population emigrate to other countries for greener pasture.”

“Over the past five decades, the impact of migration on development in migrant-sending communities and countries has been the subject of continuous and sometimes heated debate – opposing views of the migration optimists and ‘migration pessimists.” (leadership)

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