• Wednesday, December 06, 2023
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Lawyers leaving Nigeria in search of greener pastures

Supreme Court appoints panel to hear Atiku, Obi’s appeal against Tinubu

‘Japa’ wave is no longer a joke, the quest to leave the country is causing a massive brain drain that is negatively affecting the Nigerian economy.

Prior to this time, there were instances of doctors, nurses and even teachers running away from the country to Canada, America, and UK, among others.

Kenneth Irabor, a legal practitioner based in Lagos, speaking on recent developments where lawyers are relocating abroad, said the political space and inefficient case management, among others are reasons many legal practitioners are migrating abroad.

“In US for instances, the case management system is efficient. When the judge fixes a case for say, 11 am, there won’t be any delay.

But in Nigeria, the system is something else, the magistrate will delay cases no justified reasons, waste your time and money. The system is frustrating, and who can’t it are leaving,” he said.

Victor Usifor, another legal practitioner blamed the ‘japa’ wave on low income for service as obtainable in the country, and lack of opportunities for lawyers created by the system.

“Lawyers remuneration here is poorly regulated, low income for service here compared to country of interest is a factor many consider.

Some also take the adventure of the ‘japa’ because of their children’s education. As it is today, you know what the Nigerian educational system is in financing, and standard,” he said.

Uzoma Ibeawuchi, a legal practitioner cited insecurity as one of the reason his colleagues are leaving in their numbers.

Read also ‘Japa’: How FG can slow down brain drain

Recently, Ike Emerogu, a lawyer was kidnapped in Port Harcourt, and killed even after the demanded ransom was paid for his release.

BusinessDay findings reveal that lawyers are resigning from their law firms, when many thought were lucrative jobs. Even supposedly A-list law firms in Nigeria are also losing huge numbers of lawyers on a daily basis.

Linda Alpheus, a legal expert told BusinessDay reporter that trend cut across sectors, because many youth have lost confidence in the country.

“It is not just lawyers, teachers, doctors, and even plumbers are leaving, everyone that can afford the cost is leaving; there is nothing to live for in Nigeria again,” she said.

Many Nigerians have called on the federal government to be intentional about curbing the surging rate at which citizens relocate abroad for greener pastures.

Ndubuisi Ekekwe, a lecturer, and an entrepreneur based in the United States said that its time for the government to see the ugly trend as a national emergency.

“I do not have the authority to comment on ‘japa’ since I left many years ago. Yet, it is time for the nation to see this as a national emergency. I did some checks using the convocation document for my Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) graduating class.

I noticed that 90 percent of all students who graduated top of their respective departments in my set in FUTO’s School of Engineering and Engineering Technology (SEET) are living outside Nigeria. How do you build a country that way?’

Read also7 Nigerian celebrities who set the ‘japa’ trend

I challenge the government to make opportunities happen in Nigeria. We’re fading real fast across many human capital indicators. You subsidise education, and other nations then come and plug young people while you struggle. You have no chance!” he said.

It used to be techies ‘japa’ing to Canada, US, Australia, and the UK, among others. Then, Nigerians added healthcare workers. Now law firms cannot retain lawyers.

Lateef Yusuff, at LOY and Partners,Temple, England, United Kingdom feels the recent development should not be issue bearing in mind that talent goes where it can thrive.

“The world is full of an abundance of talent but conversely limited places exists where those talents can thrive, be nurtured and blossom.

Read also ‘Japa’: How FG can slow down brain drain

Talent goes where the field is relatively leveled. So they can focus on doing what they do best – use their God-given talent to solve problems!,” he noted.

He cited a story told him once by his friend how a certain civil service job in Nigeria was advertised with a ‘minimum of 2:1’ yet majority of those eventually employed made below the ‘minimum’.

They all, my friend inclusive, simply got a note from a senator, top politician or prominent royal father and got the job! One candidate didn’t even do an interview in addition to barely clinching a 2:2, and managed to get in!