Brain Drain in Nigeria

Brain Drain
Photo Credit: Stock Photo

According to World Education Review, Nigeria has the highest brain drain in Africa.  Nigeria sends students abroad more than any other African country.

Data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics on Nigeria Brain Drain is alarming. Between 2012-2017, Nigerians studying abroad increased from 57,298 to 89,094 representing a 55% increase, while in 2018,  9.7% of foreign students in the US are Nigerians.

According to the report, the top five destinations of students in 2015 are

United Kingdom           17, 973

Ghana                             13, 919

USA                                 10,674

The US figure reportedly contributed to $324 million to the US Economy.

In 2019, case in point is Nigeria’s healthcare sector. There are about 72,000 persons registered with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), but more than a half practise medicine outside the country. That leaves a population of about 180 million Nigerians with 35,000 doctors, and one doctor per 5,000 people, whereas the global recommendation is one doctor per 600 persons.

Brain drain causes countries, industries, and organizations to lose a core portion of valuable individuals, the highly skilled and educated. The term often describes the substantial emigration of groups of doctors, healthcare professionals, scientists, engineers, or financial professionals.

Brian drain greatly affects the country in two ways:

First, expertise is lost with each emigrant, diminishing the supply of that profession.

Secondly, the country’s economy is harmed because each professional represents surplus spending units.

Both drag the economy and development of a country in the mud in stepwise. First, the depletion of professionals within a single industry would mean that citizens have to go elsewhere to “purchase” these services. For example,  the shortage of medical consultants contributes to the fact that Nigeria spends about N359.2 billion annually on healthcare abroad. This is only a handful of Nigerians (and our President) spending about ₦19 billion more on healthcare in other countries than our total 2018 healthcare budget. These are the evil of the brain drain.

Causes of Brain Drain

  • Search for Greener Pasture
  • Lack of employment opportunities
  • Low salaries and wages
  • Poor Educational system
  • Class syndrome
  • Political instability
  • Lack of amenities

Solutions to Brain Drain

  • Better Economy
  • Provision of job opportunities
  • Attractive salaries and wages . and welfare packages
  • Good leadership
  • Good educational system
  • Political stability