Awosika Expresses Concern over Japa Syndrome

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The rate at which young Nigerians are moving to developed nations in North America and Europe has been compared by Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, a former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, to a total export of Nigerian resources that will not yield a return on capital investment.

According to Awosika, parents in Nigeria struggle to provide their children with a quality education due to a lack of financial resources, yet they leave their country in search of better opportunities in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other European countries.

The former First Bank of Nigeria CEO made this statement on Wednesday in Lagos at the annual Vanguard Economic Discourse 2023, which had as its theme “Taming inflation and stimulating growth: The place of fiscal & monetary policies’, on Wednesday in Lagos.”

She stated: “In many ways, the sad part is after we have used our money to pay the countries for the education of our children, we then leave our children behind to serve them to build their own economy, even though we paid for that education.

“So I want you to dimension the impact of that. It means every penny we pay for education for every child that chooses not to come back; it was not an investment for a nation. It was a total export of resources, for which we might never get any return on capital investment.”

To avoid the Japa syndrome from endangering the nation, Awosika asked the Nigerian government to solve the economy’s flaws.

“We have to live up to our responsibilities in upholding sanity in our socio-economic and political and leadership systems,” she said.

The keynote speaker, Niyi Yusuf, Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, stated that Nigeria must institutionalize efficiency in the management of its tax collection systems.

He remarked, “Nigeria needs to improve more on widening its tax nets as opposed to increasing taxes. We don’t need a fixed tax. All we need is efficiency in the way we collect our taxes.

“We also need to think of innovative ways to attract capital as opposed to oil. Nigeria is a nation that requires huge capital to build infrastructure; to build hospitals, to build schools.”

According to Gbenga Adefaye, General Manager and Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard Media Ltd., the Vanguard Economic Discourse took place at the ideal time given that the nation was about to enter another round of presidential elections.

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