More than half of Nigerian highly skilled employees plan to quit their jobs and relocate abroad in the next one year, a new report has said.
The report titled ‘Talent Management, A New World Order: Shifting Paradigms’ by Phillips Consulting Limited (pcl), a Nigerian business and management consulting firm surveyed 1,054 Nigerian adults aged 18 or older between August 24 and September 3, 2022. The survey conducted online incorporated research from YouGov and Cambridge University’s globalism survey
“Twenty-two percent plan to migrate abroad within the next two-three years, while 26 percent are still determining their plans or have no intention of relocating abroad. The finance & insurance, professional services, and IT sectors are expected to be hit the hardest,” it said.
It said 26.1 percent of the respondents who intend to move abroad and leave their jobs belong to the finance (banks and non-banks) and insurance sectors. The other industries that are significantly affected include professional services (20.8 percent), IT/telecom (13.9 percent), and education (9.3 percent).
“In 2022, Nigeria’s ICT and financial services sectors were experiencing the fastest growth, with Gross Domestic Product growth rates of 10.7 percent and 16.4 percent, respectively. This means that the migration of skilled workers could significantly impact the performance of these sectors and the overall economy,” it added.
The report cited reduced skilled workforce, decreased tax revenue, and the loss of talented and skilled personnel, increased pressure on foreign exchange demand and loss of trade and tourism.
The demand or need to immigrate for Nigerians is not too hard to diagnose as high poverty, unemployment, poor human capital development, insecurity and poor education are some of the many reasons its young population are bailing out of the country to greener pastures.
And seeking higher education abroad has now been a major means of permanent emigration.
The top three reasons people plan to move to another country are better job opportunities, insecurity challenges, and higher education, according to the pcl report.
“Most of those surveyed plan to relocate to Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These countries are relying on immigration to help offset the effects of an ageing workforce due to the Baby Boomer generation retiring,” it said.
According to the British government, the number of Nigerians given sponsored study or student visas rose by 768.7 percent to 59,053 in 2022 from 6,798 in 2019.
While the number of new study permits issued by Canada to Nigeria increased by 17.8 percent to 16,195 as of December 31, 2022, the highest on record, from 13,745 in the same period of 2021.
Rob Taiwo, managing director at pcl, said the quest for a better life should not be surprising as personal well-being is integral to employees’ positive and negative emotions about their job.
“Since the pandemic, satisfaction, happiness, eudemonia and a sense of employee purpose have deteriorated, whilst anxiety has increased. In essence, our work environment fundamentally dictates our self-worth and image,” he said.
The report revealed that most of the professionals who plan to migrate are millennials. “They possess distinct traits, such as being tech-savvy and innovative, that differentiate them from other generations. These qualities can potentially revolutionise and transform organisations and society as a whole.”
It said millennials currently make up the most significant portion of the workforce and that their departure from the country could significantly impact various industries.
On how organisations can retain talents, analysts at pcl recommend companies to review their corporate talent management strategy, align their organisation’s hybrid work arrangement, rework their employee compensation strategy and rethink their corporate response to the cost-of-living crisis.
“Talent leaders are uniquely equipped to help businesses adapt to the ever-changing workplace. They are vital in recruitment, succession planning, leadership development, career, and performance management.
“It is now more critical than ever for organisations to review their talent management strategies and develop a way forward explicitly tailored to their needs,” they added.