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.