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The dark side of our migration

By Sunny Ikhioya

THE rate at which Nigerians are migrating to other parts of the world has become an issue of great concern, particularly because the consequences of such mass exodus  would have such telling effect on the future of our nation, albeit negatively. But this is not supposed to be so as one cannot divorce development of nations from the great contributions from migrants.

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It is the nature of man to migrate for greener pastures, to explore further the wide potentials that the earth has to offer and also, to conquer and dominate. Consequently, cultures collide and integrate and new patterns emerge, that to a large extent bring progressive dimensions to world affairs.

Every nation keeps its best. As much as possible, they go out, observe development strategies in other climes,  compare notes with what is obtainable back home and strive for improvement. This is the method developing nations that have evolved to great nations today adopted – India, China, Singapore and etc. No matter how attractive their sojurn  is in foreign lands were, they always prefered to return home and give their best to the development of their countries, except; for those, who for political reasons, are at war with the leaders, so choose to remain safe in exile.

But same cannot be said of Nigeria. Our best are never attracted home. Those who for love of country dare to return are frustrated out of the system. So, if our best are being made to emigrate and never to return home, we are left with the second or third best team and what good can come out of this?

It is the same scenario with our politics. The system has been so structured to frustrate our best out of governance that those we are there now, that can conveniently run the affairs of this country are mere errand boys. They are not empowered to take control and those who try to do so get their fingers burnt, never to return again.

Those who manage to get close to the top, like or Vice President Professor Osibanjo, do get there out of providence and not by their own machinations, as could be seen from the process that brought him to office. It is clear for everyone to see the difference in governance anytime the President is out of the country and his Vice is in charge.

It is great humility for a strong leader to accept the exceptional brilliance of a subordinate and take advantage of it by tapping into the numerous potentials inherent in that individual. I hope our President will learn from it.

The massive migration of Nigerians to foreign lands portends great danger to the future of our country. Every family that can afford it, now prefer to send their children abroad for further education. The list increases by the day. First is Mr. President, his cabinet members, House of  Assembly members, Permanent secretaries, business tycoons and even civil servants, etc.

These children go outside the country, enjoy the facilities that these countries provide and do not want to come back to the country again. So, who do we have remaining? The children of the poor, struggled to go through our laborious educational system, with standards sliding daily. Since the children of most public office holders do not attend our public institutions, their parents are not in position to assess the quality of education that is being provided in our schools. Thus,what goes on there is not of interest to them. It is only natural that they would not bother about these institutions.

That is why Universities in Nigeria can go on strike for over six months and no one cares, no one is held accountable. That is why infrastructures are deteriorating daily  in our schools and public office holders are unconcerned. That is why a whole institution of learning, with a full faculty of medicine, will reserve space for only 50 students to study medicine, when there are over 30,000 brilliant and qualified students applying for admission.

Nobody cares, because the children of the rich and those in leadership positions are sent abroad to study courses of their choice without hindrance. But the issue is; after going to study abroad, how many of them bother to come back? That is why our best are the best out there, in top institutions in America, Europe and other lands, remaining useful in other countries but their own. It is a matter for serious concern for those in authority. Our policies and actions are sending the country down the hill. Unless the children of those in leadership positions  remain in Nigeria to study, the problem of falling standards of education will remain with us for a long time to come. Until public office holders do away with all of their personal power generating sets at home and go for the public power  supply, electricity supply challenges will continue. Unless they create the enabling environment that is attracive  for our youths to remain in this country, this desperate migrant situation will never end.

We mismanaged our rural to urban migration situation in the past and see where we have found ourselves today. The international migration will be worse if not properly handled.


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