• Sunday, February 25, 2024
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The japa syndrome: Second guessing?

Japa: Nigerians in the UK trapped in cost of living crisis

There is a commitment for the citizens as much as there is for the leadership; the level of passing blame about the recent exodus of some of the strongholds of our dear nation is troubling. The concerns would not be that people are moving in droves but that they go with so much experience acquired in this country to service the foreign economy. The neglect of this menace is quite disheartening much less to refer to the desolation of some duties as found in our organisations.

The migration index of some of the Nigerian technology-savvy individuals has reduced the key performance index of most organisations to almost zero or near crashing point. You find most companies struggling with the few hands they have and even find it hard to recruit professionals for replacement. The trend soars to its highest peak with how borders are opened to some of these specialists from various microchip companies and other strong fields of the economy abroad. Various fields like medicine, agriculture, financial institutions, and other fast-paced enterprises are plagued.

Read also: Japa: Why Nigerians go for menial jobs abroad

When this occurs, do we have to worry? A bereaved country may not necessarily experience war or pandemics that can cause mortality before it is devastated; the unprecedented occurrence will be evaded through the immigration of professionals. This movement is quite different from exchange programmes where nations interchange expatriates for some special assignments for a given period, after which the nationals return to their home countries for service concerning their pieces of training among other interested citizens.

A foreign passport is the goal of most of these sojourners. They want to permanently leave their home country for greener pastures that may last their lifetime and that of their children. When situations like these happen to a country, the depletion of Human Resources is colossal. The rate of dependence on foreign survival kits becomes extremely unimaginable. Corruption of various shades escapes from its hideouts to the visibility of all. Whim and caprice of loyalty to one’s nation appear so glaring. This is just not too good to imagine when all our special forces are seconded unwillingly.

Second colonial intervention you would call it? The experiences or feedback from the immigrants have testified to the fact that monies are not picked on the streets of countries in Europe or on the walkways of states in America. Some claim that the benefits are just the working conditions of the system that have simplified working for your money. The shocks of getting to work and making money based on wages according to your hours of labour are explainable to the most determined to travel. Discipline will make you pay bills and still make your savings fat. The level of our conformity to rules over there brings confusion.

Second colonial intervention you would call it? The experiences or feedback from the immigrants have testified to the fact that monies are not picked on the streets of countries in Europe or on the walkways of states in America.

The illusion that things are not working in Nigeria is worth the confusion of how the same people make things work in a foreign system. A typical example is our pattern of driving; you would find Nigerians drive responsibly in another man’s land and break the rules in their home country. If this culture of common goals to make things work runs in our mind, perhaps, the level of transiting from one country to a foreign land will drastically reduce.

Another aspect that brings confusion is the rate at which some of our leaders travel to these developed nations for assistance or the other. You would wonder how much dependence we have on their health facilities because our system is not taking a leaf from these working conditions. The expectations of the citizens are not so much but for some basic social amenities, that the health system, education reform, and civic responsibility get an affirmation. In turn, the support system for some of these basic services will not be as expensive as how much we lose to these foreign economies.

Our maintenance culture begs for total reform as most erected facilities have been archaic due to a lack of sustainable use of these resources. If these expatriates come to visit, we revere them to the detriment of our indigenous professionals. Things suffer negligence and get devastated because their lifespan is queried by regular servicing. It is a thing to have sophisticated machines; it is another to have relatively-experienced operators. The few ones are those contemplating whether to move abroad or stay.

Read also: ‘Japa’ wave hits Nigeria’s investment banking industry

If these immigrants decide to remain far from the shores of the country that remains oblivious to all these mentioned plights, the unresolved issues will create more problems for others to find reasons to flee. It will be more difficult to prioritise nation-building above self-survival mechanisms and it will enable excuses for people to assume living rather than dying in penury and uncertainty. It does not seem so palatable on the other side of the world but when there is a tunnel with glimpses of light at the end, the end may be justifiable for those who choose to flee.


Olusegun Fashakin, a Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Fellow, writes in via [email protected]