Mr Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State, has said that one thing Nigeria must not allow to happen is for people to develop a sense of hopelessness.
The former running mate to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the February 2019 presidential elections speaking with premiumtimesng said : ‘Where there is no hope, why are you there? Imagine, if you are a Christian and on Sunday as you arrive the church to worship and the pastor says he just found out there no heaven anymore?
I don’t believe in brain drain. Your asset is your knowledge. And if somebody somewhere needs it, would you not make it available to him? Definitely, you will go to where you are needed. It is a simple thing.
If they don’t want you in Nigeria, why are you wasting away here? What we call brain drain is a cumulative effect of leadership failure over the years. Our leaders have failed. That’s why the youths are leaving in droves.
Two things drive the economy. No nation has enough resources. But, one thing we must not allow to happen is for people to develop a sense of hopelessness. Where there is no hope, why are you there? Imagine, if you are a Christian and on Sunday as you arrive the church to worship and the pastor says he just found out there no heaven anymore?
The world is driven by hope. If there is no hope in Nigeria, why would I stay here and commit suicide? Those yielding to brain drain are not doing so because of the pay they will get. It is that they do not have hope in Nigeria. Some of the doctors who came back have committed suicide.
I have a son I tell every day to come back. He keeps telling me he does not know what is happening in Nigeria. He said if he comes, people want to give him job because he is the son of this or that, rather than the qualification and experience he has. He says he will rather remain there where nobody knows him.
And if he attends an interview, and is qualified, he will get the job and will be happy to do. But, in Nigeria, he said after school, he will need his father to write a note to people before he is employed.
The way to go is for the leaders to start giving the youth a sense of hope for them to stay back. We should invest more in ICT and science-related courses since it is going to be the future of the world.
When I went to study what was happening to schools in Uganda, I went to Kenya first. Because Kenya Airways was very expensive, I was looking for where I could get a cheaper flight. I found Rwanda Air. My wife was very apprehensive. I told her not to worry, because once the plane is in the air, if it will fall, it will. It does not matter.
At Rwanda Air, to my shock, they had a brand new aircraft. While Kenya Airways was asked for over N800,000 for a return ticket, theirs was about N400,000. But, my greater shock was that when the captain of the aircraft came to introduce himself to me, he was a Nigerian. He said two of them in the cockpit are Nigerians.
They said they could not have a job in Nigeria. But, in Rwanda, they value them. Would you, in such situation, expect me to ask them to come back to Nigeria to die? No! They should stay where they are. There is no brain drain.