Labor presidential candidate Peter Obi, who is running for the 2023 general election, said he agreed with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ recent comments about the surge of young professionals leaving Nigeria for “better pastures”.
The American billionaire spoke about the “Japa syndrome” during an interactive session with innovators at Advancing Africa: Unleashing the Power of Youth Science and Innovation in Lagos state on Wednesday.
“In a way it’s good for people to leave, if you increase the amount of training you’re doing. Having a large diaspora, which includes people going back into business, going back into government – it’s a very healthy thing, ’” Gates said in part.
Obi responded on Thursday, saying that the trend of Nigerians going to other countries to find opportunities will benefit Nigeria in the long run.
The former governor of Anambra state said the knowledge they gained abroad was crucial in rebuilding the country when the government started doing the right thing.
He wrote; “I read and agree with Bill Gates’ recent comments on the ‘japa’ syndrome, in which he reportedly said that the recent exodus of Nigerian professionals for a better place has done a great deal to our country is good and healthy.
I’ve been preaching and holding the same stance on the “japa wave”. For many years, throughout my campaign in the last presidential election, and especially during my visits to Canada, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and other countries, I insisted that “our brain drain today will be our brain gain tomorrow.”
Nigerians leaving this country may seem like a loss today, but their knowledge and resources will be vital in building a new Nigeria as we start to do the right thing and take the governance of our country more seriously, Like in China, India, Ireland and other developing countries.
Today, India is proud to have one of the largest tech talent pools in the world, producing some of the world’s top engineers and computer scientists. The CEOs of many of the world’s top technology companies are of Indian descent.
Hence, India’s success in the tech sector is partly due to its ability to leverage the knowledge and resources of the Indian diaspora for national development.
As we build a new Nigeria, Nigeria will grow and develop on all fronts, prioritizing investment in education, health and supporting small businesses, ensuring respect for the rule of law, safety of life and property, and national unity.
Our Nigerians in the diaspora around the world will then return home with their global training, skills and resources to contribute immeasurably to building a new and better Nigeria. We will not give up the dream of a new Nigeria. “
I’ve been preaching and maintaining the same stance on The Japan Wave. Over the years, throughout my campaign for the last presidential election, and especially during my visits from Canada, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, and other countries,
— Peter Obi (@PeterObi) June 22, 2023