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Technology Risk Consulting partner at KPMG Canada, Chimaobi Ezeibe, has said that the emigration of Information Technology (IT) professionals from Nigeria is good.

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Ezeibe said this at the ‘ThinkNnovation Cybersecurity Conference 2022’ organized by FITC in partnership with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Systems (NIBSS).

As against popular opinion of brain drain, the KPMG partner noted that these moves are beneficial to the development of the country, as Nigeria is exporting human capital, which is a valuable resource.

According to Ezeibe, these IT “japa” candidates migrate and are able to create opportunities for their counterparts in the country. He notes that when these professionals get established, they create spaces for fintech companies in Nigeria to blossom, as it provides them with jobs.

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“We should not see the fact that cybersecurity experts or IT professionals are leaving the country as a problem. One thing I will want us to look at is that this is how India became a technology powerhouse. This is how China became the manufacturing hub center for the world today. It’s a great opportunity for Nigeria because they are going to places where there are opportunities and when they get there, as long as they won’t forget home, they also create opportunities for people at home.

“This is how we grow because if you think about it, what is Nigeria going to do in the next 20, 15, 10 years? The exit of IT professionals is good for the country because this will encourage others to start focusing more on these areas. We want to see young people do less of Yahoo Yahoo and more of cybersecurity because it is more profitable and it is more respected, Ezeibe said.

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He insisted that the “japa” trend of tech professionals from Nigeria can only give the country a positive front overseas. He noted:

“One of Nigeria’s greatest assets is our people. We have a higher population than several countries of the world. The question is what are we doing with these resources? Will it not be a dream come true if Nigeria becomes the nerve center or the base of tech geniuses and cyber geniuses in Africa? So, to me, I see it (japa) as a way of development despite the government, not necessarily because of the government.

This is because people are saying there are no jobs, there are no jobs, and the people that are leaving the country are leaving their jobs, thus creating opportunities for people that are in the country. If you have applied to a company as an IT Engineer and they rejected you, by the time their current IT Engineer leaves, they will consider you as the next option. So, I see it as an advantage for Nigeria to utilize its resources.”

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This article was first published on 3rd November 2022


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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