The Labour Party presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Peter Obi has said that he agrees with the recent comments made by Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates on the surge of young professionals leaving Nigeria for “greener pastures”.
The American billionaire spoke on the “Japa Syndrome” during an interactive session with innovators on ‘Advancing Africa: Unleashing the Power of Youth in Science and Innovation’ held on Wedneday in Lagos State.
“In a sense, people leaving is a good thing, if you up the amount of training you’re doing. Having a big diaspora that includes people coming back into business, into government – that’s a very healthy thing,” Gates said in part.
Reacting on Thursday, Obi said the trend of Nigerians traveling toother countries to explore opportunities will favour Nigeria in the long run.
According to the former governor of Anambra state, the knowledge they acquired abroad will be very essential in the rebuilding of the nation when government starts doing the right things.
He wrote; “I read and agree with Bill Gates’s recent comment on the “japa” syndrome, where, according to reports, he stated that the recent surge of Nigerian professionals leaving the country for greener pastures is good and healthy for our country.
I have always preached and maintained this same position on the “japa wave”. For years now, and throughout my campaign in the last Presidential election, especially during my tours from Canada, the USA, Germany, the UK, and other countries, I maintained that “Our brain drain today will be our brain gain tomorrow.”
Nigerians leaving the country may look like a loss today, but when we start doing the right things and taking the governance of our nation more seriously, the knowledge and resources from them will be critical in the building of the New Nigeria, as it happened in China, India, Ireland and other developing countries.
Today, India prides itself as one of the countries with the biggest tech talents in the world, having produced some of the world’s top engineers and computer scientists. Many top global tech companies are headed by CEOs of Indian origin.
So India’s success in the tech industry can partly be attributed to its ability to harness the knowledge and resources of Indians in the diaspora for their national growth.
Nigeria will grow and develop on all fronts when we build the New Nigeria that prioritises investment in education, health, and support for small businesses, guarantees respect for the rule of law, security of lives and properties, and unity of the nation.
Then our diasporan Nigerians around the world will return home with their global training, skills and resources, to immeasurably contribute to building a New and better Nigeria. We will not give up on our dreams for the New Nigeria.”