. Say Nigeria losing best hands to ‘Japa syndrome’
. Task Minister on new policy, incentives to reverse brain drain
Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have expressed their frustrations over the lingering debts estimated at about N150billion that arose between the banks and operators from the use of the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD).
The operators under the umbrella of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON) blamed the USSD impasse on political interference, especially under the immediate past Federal Government of Muhammadu Buhari.
Engineer Gbenga Adebayo, the chairman of ALTON who spoke at the Nigeria Telecoms Indigenous Content Expo (NTICE 2023) organized by the Nigerian Communications Commission at Landmark Events Centre, Lekki, Lagos, therefore urged Dr Bosun Tijani, the new Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, to preserve the independence of the telecoms sector under the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
He also raised the alarm over the unsustainable end user pricing for services in the telecoms sector in view of the cost of doing business, especially now that fuel subsidy has been yanked off.
He added that in no distant future, electricity subsidy would go.
He said: “We must look at a more realistic pricing for the services we offer because the current pricing is not sustainable.”
Adebayo recalled that the USSD agreement was basically commercial contract akin to buying and selling in which case of there’s no payment, no supply would be made.
He said the industry has resorted to the terms of the contract when the banks refused to pay but the matter was taken to the political space with the intervention of the minister and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which has made the matter to drag for so long.
Similarly, the MNOs are concerned that Nigeria is losing its best telecom engineers to the ‘Japa syndrome’ (brain drain).
The stakeholders in the telecommunications sector have called on the Federal Government, FG, to address the brain drain popularly known as ‘Japa syndrome’ by young talented Nigerians.
They said that the best and brightest are leaving the country in droves and therefore called on the FG to address this though policies, incentives and ultimately, better social guarantees.
ALTON chairman, Adebayo said, “We are losing a lot of our best and the brightest to ‘Japa syndrome.’ But you can’t blame the people, because as a country, we have not been able to provide enough social guarantees that will keep these young ones here.
“I think the time has come when the industry has to begin to make preparations for their return.
“Today we have what they call work from home, even though they have been in a particular country can work in another country.”