The 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has agreed with Bill Gates that the recent surge of young Nigerian professionals leaving the country for “greener pastures” is a good thing.
Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, made the comment on Wednesday during an interactive session with innovators on “Advancing Africa: Unleashing the Power of Youth in Science and Innovation” held in Lagos State.
He said that the “brain drain” could be a positive thing for Nigeria, as it could help to increase the country’s pool of skilled workers and entrepreneurs.
“In a sense, people leaving is a good thing, if you up the amount of training you’re doing,” Gates said. “Having a big diaspora that includes people coming back into business, into government – that’s a very healthy thing.”
Obi, who is a former governor of Anambra State, said that he agrees with Gates’ assessment.
“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,” Obi said in a statement on Thursday.
Obi said that the “brain drain” could help to improve Nigeria’s economy by providing the country with access to a larger pool of skilled workers.
“The brain drain can be a positive thing for Nigeria if we are able to harness the skills and expertise of our diaspora,” Obi said. “We need to create an environment where our professionals can feel comfortable coming back home and contributing to our development.”
Obi also said that the “brain drain” could help to improve Nigeria’s image abroad.
“When our professionals leave Nigeria, they take with them our best ideas and our brightest minds,” Obi said. “This can help to improve Nigeria’s image abroad and attract more investment.”
Obi’s comments come as Nigeria grapples with a number of economic challenges, including high unemployment and poverty. The “brain drain” has been seen as one of the factors contributing to these challenges.
However, Obi argued that the “brain drain” could also be seen as an opportunity for Nigeria.
“We need to see the brain drain as an opportunity to improve our economy and our image abroad,” Obi said. “We need to create an environment where our professionals can feel comfortable coming back home and contributing to our development.”