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[FEATURE] Will Businesses Lose Their Staff as Schools Abroad Begin New Sessions?

Checks by TechEconomy on the University of Portsmouth in the UK reveal that the autumn term begins 12 September–16 December; spring (3 January–31 March 2023) and summer (17 April–21 July, 2023)

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Japa

Tola Ajiboye who resides in Lagos is one of the talented Nigerians that is set to leave (Japa) in September. The blockchain enthusiast who works for a startup said, he is traveling to the UK for a Master’s Degree Program. 

“Everything is set. My eyes are glued to the clock. and I can’t wait to start a new life, “the 35-year-old man said in a chat. 

Some companies in Nigeria are likely to lose some of their staff as fresh academic sessions in UK and US universities kick-off, TechEconomy understands. 

The US and the UK education systems offer three admission cycles for universities and colleges. In the US, it’s (fall, spring, and summer). While in the UK, it’s (autumn, spring, and summer). 

The fall (US), which is autumn in the UK, is the semester when the majority of students begin their degree programs, usually between the end of August and early September. This is also the period in which most Nigerians leave the country. 

Checks by TechEconomy on the University of Portsmouth in the UK reveal that the autumn term begins 12 September–16 December; spring (3 January–31 March 2023) and summer (17 April–21 July 2023). Similarly, the fall term at Indiana University-Bloomington in the US starts on August 22. 

Opinions 

Reacting to this development, George Iwo, Chief Executive Officer at Pegis Global Services Limited, said: “I recently saw a complaint that many Nigerian businesses will soon begin losing important staff members since school is set to start again across Europe and America.” 

He said Nigerian youths leave the country every day in search of a better life, and for many people, obtaining a study visa is the simplest way to travel abroad. “And lots of young people are profiting from that.” 

According to Aleksander Oshodi, Geological Advisor, Consultant Geoscientist, and Project Manager, many businesses in Nigeria are run by traders, not businessmen, who underpay their staff, treat them unfairly, and make them work unnecessary hours.

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“They make you work unnecessary hours within very short timelines on projects because the person giving a six-month project wants it in 2 months and the person bidding does not want to lose the opportunity. 

Oshodi said if a member of staff contributes to the growth of the business, he or she is seen as a threat by his superiors, adding that there is no small-to-medium business that has a training program or package for its staff. 

“Very few have legit licenses to propriety software and hence can’t work with international companies regarding training and after-sales services. When you choose to leave for a better place, all they do is sabotage your future when the new company asks for references. 

“Let’s not talk about the sexual harassment of staff, both male and female; the unfair treatment of the physically challenged and pregnant women. That’s why when I hear people complain about the government, I laugh.”

Oshodi said that the atrocities committed within the Nigerian labor market by traders (employers) who have no core values or principles should have caused a riot. 

“To survive the hardship in the country, a daily dose of hostility and unfair work practices is ok.” 

Opposing Views

Those that want to complain can keep complaining. Those that want to Japa can Japa. But some of us won’t go anywhere,” Lukeman Olayiwola, Chairman, Olo Industries Limited & Olo Engineering Limited,” said in response to the issue. 

We have had all manner of governments in this country, both military and civilian. Isn’t it insane for anyone to still be looking to the government to fix this country? 

It’s up to Nigerians to evolve the type of country that they want and not just to outsource responsibilities to the government and expect anything to change.

He said all the challenges besetting Nigeria ought to be turned into opportunities by Nigerians, especially the educated elites.

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Nigerians need to read the history of European countries, the USA, Japan, and many other developed countries. They have all gone through very challenging times, but the citizens of those countries turned those challenges into opportunities.

“In this same country that many are complaining about, a few Babcock university graduates came together to form Paystack less than 7 years ago and grew it to become a $200m+ business.

“We will keep asking ourselves in respect of what we can do with or without the government.” Yes, success is not guaranteed. But we will derive satisfaction from the fact that we tried to make a difference. 

Japa and its Implications

Japa means traveling abroad via relocation or scholarship. ​​Or to seek greener pastures in a foreign land. On a serious note, it means running away from a disastrous event.

Nigeria has witnessed a surge in the number of Nigerians immigrating to Canada, the US, the UK, the UAE, and basically any country that would grant them entry in the last 5 years. 

Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of the Interior, last week said 650,000 booklets were collected by Nigerians as of June 2022, out of a total of 1.3 million given in 2021. And many more Nigerians are still applying for international passports. 

Those who are traveling out of Nigeria also include highly talented and skilled individuals like professionals. It is easier for them to leave due to the demand for their skills in the western world. 

For instance – as of 2020, Nigeria had a doctor-patient ratio of 1:2,753, in sharp contrast to the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s minimum recommended ratio of 1:400 or 600. The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) has said more than 100 of its members have left the country in the past 24 months.

On the flip side, a report by PwC Nigeria estimated that in 2018, 1.24 million Nigerians living abroad made remittances back to Nigeria to the tune of $25 billion. 

This amount accounted for over a third of migrant remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa and represented some 6.1% of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product. 

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In the meantime, remittances by Nigerians in the diaspora have been projected to increase rapidly.

Conclusion 

Nigeria has all the potential to become a first-world country if, as a matter of urgency, attention is paid to improving human development and capacity building. 

In 2022, within a single number scale of 0 and 1.0, Nigeria’s HDI was 0.534, below the minimum of 0.55, which places us within the LDC (least developed countries) zone of the world.

The Human Development Index is a statistical tool used to measure a country’s overall achievement in its social and economic dimensions. The social and economic dimensions of a country are based on the health of people, their level of educational attainment, and their standard of living.

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Justice Okamgba functions as CONTENT STRATEGIST for TechEconomy.ng with penchant for content planning, development, analysis, management, and measurement. Contact: [email protected]

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