Chairman of Gran Hermano Academy in Awka, Chijioke Godfrey Nwajioha, proposed addressing Nigeria’s education challenges by implementing legislation prohibiting individuals without Nigerian degree qualifications from being considered for government jobs.
The internationally renowned academic consultant concurred with the view that a crucial step in this direction would diminish the “Japa syndrome.”
Nwajioha highlighted the “Japa syndrome” as a critical issue facing Nigeria, emphasising the need for a comprehensive approach to address it.
He outlined several factors contributing to the brain drain phenomenon, including the quality of education, access to opportunities, economic challenges, corruption, and political instability.
Nwajioha proposed legislation requiring government job applicants to hold Nigerian degrees to encourage investment in domestic education and discourage talent flight.
He stressed the importance of valuing Nigerian education and creating an environment that incentivizes young people to contribute to the country’s development.
He urged the government to prioritize education investment and create opportunities to retain talented individuals.
Nwajioha stated, “The japa syndrome, or the brain drain phenomenon, if you like, is a real and pressing challenge for Nigeria.
“I believe that reducing this trend will require a multi-pronged approach that includes improving the quality of education, increasing access to opportunities, and addressing economic challenges.
“Improving the quality of education will make Nigeria a more attractive option for talented individuals, as it will give them the skills and knowledge to succeed in the global economy.
“Secondly, increasing access to opportunities, such as jobs and internships, will give individuals a reason to stay in Nigeria and contribute to its development. Furthermore, addressing inflation and unemployment will help create a more stable and prosperous environment for individuals to live and work in.
“In addition, untying the country from the shackles of corruption, improving infrastructure, and promoting the rule of law will also help to create an environment that is conducive to retaining talent.
“I believe that addressing the Japa syndrome requires a holistic and comprehensive approach that considers all of these factors.
“You see, the world has become a global village; access to information is at the tip of your finger, thereby creating opportunities for the young ones to interact with their peers elsewhere, and by doing so, you will wonder why what works seamlessly elsewhere will be difficult to achieve in Nigeria.
“The menace is a big challenge that requires a complex and multifaceted approach that addresses both the push and pull factors that are driving this phenomenon.
“It is important to create opportunities and conditions in Nigeria that will give young people the desire to stay and contribute to the development of the country.
“This includes improving education, creating job opportunities, and promoting social justice. At the same time, it is also necessary to address the factors that are drawing young people to leave Nigeria, such as economic insecurity, political instability, and insecurity.
“By addressing these issues, we can reduce the incentive for people to leave the country and instead encourage them to stay and contribute to its future.
“It is important to address the broader social-economic and political context in which the Japa syndrome exists. As I said before, tackling corruption, strengthening institutions, and creating an environment that is conducive to innovation and growth will put an end to all these anomalies.
“Let me add that this is very important, and I would want the government to take this very seriously.
“To solve the education problem in Nigeria, there should be legislation prohibiting those who didn’t do a degree course in Nigeria from being considered for jobs in any government establishment.
“That is to say, before one is qualified to work in any government establishment, he or she must have a first or second degree from a Nigerian school.
“By doing so, we will look inward and make our schools work, which, in turn, will discourage people from running out of the country only to come back to head government agencies where policies on education are implemented.
“I am saying this with every sense of responsibility. It’s very saddening to note that those who abandoned Nigeria to study elsewhere will come back to be considered ahead of those who went through the Nigerian school system.
“We should be proud of our system and make it work. The West and her allies have succeeded in demeaning our school system, whereas it’s on record that the majority of Nigerian students that travel out to further their education go there and distinguish themselves and beat their contemporaries.
“What does that tell you? We must create an enabling environment and prioritize investment in education to dissuade our young, bright minds from ‘japaing’.”