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Peter Obi’s brain drain theory receives global backing

The Neo Africana Centre has commended Mr. Peter Obi for his innovative position on brain drain which has just received the backing and endorsement of the American billionaire and founder of Microsoft, Mr. Bill Gates.
Mr. Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 25, 2023 presidential elections has, contrary to the position of many, held that brain drain as it affects Nigeria could be a positive development in future if the government of the country can put the right policies in place.
Even though Mr. Obi’s position on the gains of brain drain dates back to 2021 when he opposed the move by federal lawmakers to stop Nigerian doctors from relocating abroad through legislation, his position on the phenomenon was amplified during the last presidential campaigns in which he was a candidate.

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Mr. Obi had maintained at several fora, including those in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Germany, that “our brain drain today will be our brain gain tomorrow.”
Mr. Obi had further argued that Nigerians leaving the country may look like a loss today, but when we start doing the right things and taking the governance of our country more seriously, the knowledge and resources from them will be critical in the building of the new Nigeria of our dreams as was the case in China, India, Ireland and other developing countries of the world.
In a statement by its Director of Public Affairs, the Centre said:
“As a public policy think tank with interest in matters of public policy, democracy and good governance, we are delighted that Obi’s position which many in Nigeria received with cynical reservations, is now receiving global acclaim. This is what Bill Gates’s backing of Obi’s position amounts to.”
Gates who is currently visiting Nigeria had said a few days ago at an interactive session with innovators:
“In a sense, people leaving is a good thing, if you up the amount of training you are doing. Having a big diaspora that includes people coming back into business, into government- that’s a very healthy thing.” According to the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it is not healthy to insist that people should not go away or be blocked from doing so, pointing out the similarities Nigeria shares with countries like India and China in the export of talent. He maintains further that many innovative immigrant doctors had spent some time in the UK and the US as part of their training.

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The statement by the Centre reads in part, “It is delightful to note that Nigeria is gradually walking out of the pit of darkness where backward thinking has been the order of the day. While our past and present leaders have been agonizing over the phenomenon of brain brain, Obi has stepped forward to tell a different and uncommon story. When he said that brain drain could become brain gain, it sounded inchoate and confusing to many. Now, his postulation is beginning to make sense.
“As Obi noted, the onus is on the leadership of the country. Nigeria needs a government that will turn the country around with innovative policies. Such a government will create the right atmosphere that will encourage Nigerian professionals in the diaspora to return home with a view to contributing their own quota to the economic, social and political advancement of the country.
“We are confident that Nigeria will, sooner or later, be blessed with a government driven by ideas and not nepotism and other primordial tendencies.
“We believe that the likes of Peter Obi with his creative position on national issues represents that hope that we need in the area of instituting and installing a government that will take Nigeria to the promised land.”