Worried over the alarming rate of relocation of Nigerian Information Technology professionals from the country, a don with the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics, Mountain Top University, Ibafo, Dr. C. Agbonkhese has said the shortage of IT professionals in the country will result in a very poor productivity in several key sectors of Nigeria.
He said sectors such as Health, Finance, Agriculture, Education, Transportation would adverselybe at the receiving end of the trend.
Dr. Agbonkhese stated this on Thursday, October 27, 2022 while presenting a paper during a virtual seminar organised by the Centre of Excellence in Migration and General Studies (CEMGS) at the University 's headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.
While speaking on the topic, "JAPA: The Causes and Effects of the Migration of Information Technology Professionals on the Development of Information Technology Ideas in Nigeria - the Present and the Future", Agbonkhese said Information technology professionals study, design, develop, implement, support, and manage computer-based information systems, including both software applications and computer hardware.
According to him, "despite the vast need for more qualified tech professionals within Nigeria, many instead seek to find opportunities abroad - Japa".
He further said that Nigerians ranked highest among people who desperately want to relocate to some other countries.
"The recent wave of Nigerians relocating out of the country represents the largest movement of people out of the country since the end of the civil war over fifty years ago.
"What is significant is the profile of those who are relocating. They are primarily skilled youth, including doctors, nurses, IT engineers, university lecturers and technicians.
"They also include young people who completed their studies abroad and opted to stay back because our country has nothing to offer them with regard to jobs, opportunities, or even basic safety.This demographic is more debilitating for our national developmental prospects".
On factors fuelling voluntary migration of IT Professionals from Nigeria, he mentioned the desire for better career opportunities, heightened insecurity in the country, poor governance in the country among others.
Speaking further, Agbonkhese said that "from the academia domain, there would be a very few people to teach IT related courses in higher institutions. This will overburden the very few with excess load and invariably decrease their productivity".
"The current wave of the “japa” of even the few tech professionals; both in academia and industry will invariably and adversely affect Nigeria in many ways and impede the growth of the Nigeria tech Industry", he added.
In her opening remark, the Director, Centre of Excellence in Migration and Global Studies (CEMGS), Dr. Gloria Anetor said the Centre is "a fulcrum of evidence-based research about pressing and emerging migration and global challenges in Nigeria, Africa and the globe".
Established in February 2020 with a seed grant from Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), she said the Centre has grown to be a hub with emphasis on field-based research that impacts policy formulation and execution for solutions to both internal and global migration.
"We focus on internal capacity building first and foremost, and stress Afrocentric-based methods in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Science. It is the first of its kind in Nigeria and an innovation with distinct concept, context, perspective and focus.
"As a research hub, the Centre is engaged in research about migrations and global studies, both internal and external; and its conceptualisation, contextualisation, and decolonisation are primarily for internal paradigm, dimension, and capacity development for field-based research and policy-oriented recommendations arising there from", Dr. Anetor said.