Reaping benefits of the brain drain – Ade Sawyerr, Equinox Consulting

Reaping benefits of the brain drain – Ade Sawyerr, Equinox Consulting

As the British government continues its tough talk on the need to control economic migration one wonders when governments of the country of origin of these migrants will start implementing policies and programmes that would attract these seasoned professionals and their children back home to help contribute to the prosperity of economies much in the same way they are doing in Britain.

This diatribe against migrants flies in the face of continued schemes such as the work permit system and the Highly Skilled Migrant Visas that are meant to attract these qualified people away from the developing countries who need their skills most.  The fact is that most of these schemes targeted at qualified people most of whom have studied here, and who are not illegal in this country, have been used successfully by this same government in several sectors including health and education.

The Nigerian government has always recognised that Nigerians in the diaspora could make an impact on development and growth of the country, and having floated a highly successful diaspora bond the government continues to examine how it can tap into the skills set of the large number of people who subscribed the financial bond.  A strategy for attracting these professionals back home to help in areas of skill shortage and transform the brain drain into a brain gain has always been on the mind of the government who set up a house select committee to consider the issue and came up with a raft of initiatives including a Nigeria National Volunteer Service.

Continue reading “Reaping benefits of the brain drain – Ade Sawyerr, Equinox Consulting”

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Can We Have An Intelligent Debate On Migration?

Can We Have An Intelligent Debate On Migration?

MOVED ALONG: African migrants from Sudan and Eritrea are forcibly removed by Italian police from their camp

“We are here because you were there” is the apt response given to the xenophobic reaction to immigration in Britain. The truth is that most people migrating to Britain have an affinity with the Motherland that had presided over the ‘Empire on which the sun never sets’ spanning from the East to the West.

In the months and weeks leading up to this migration crisis, Britain has been awash with political talk about the need to control immigration and several pejorative references have been made about migrants: they are benefit cheats, they are taking our jobs, they are changing the diversity and character of villages and towns and anything that can, has been hurled against them.

All the political parties are at it, even the Liberal Democrats and, surprisingly, Labour whose former leader – the son of an immigrant – had carved into his 10-foot stone commandments that he would control immigration and even had the coffee mug made to prove it.

All this talk has come about because of the fear that they needed to get the votes of UKIP sympathisers. Last year, the home secretary had caused vans to be sent around warning about what would happen to illegal immigrants and soon after the elections there was talk of penalising landlords for letting property to illegal immigrants.

University students have also been threatened that they would not be allowed to work in Britain and would be sent back to their countries of origin after graduation even before they can attend their convocations.

And yet when politicians make these statements and suggest that there needs to be an intelligent discussion on immigration, all we get is the same media-influenced reactions, bunching genuine with failed asylum seekers, mixing refugees with economic migrants and suggesting that those who have been migrants here for several years are also somehow in the mix and the cause of all the problems in Britain.

All it took for the position of politicians to unravel was the sight of defiant refugees refusing to be accepted in the reception and detention centres in Hungary, having a standoff with the police after invading the train stations and then deciding to walk across to Austria to their preferred choice of Germany.

Continue reading “Can We Have An Intelligent Debate On Migration?”

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