A former Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika, has described the rate at which young Nigerians are relocating to developed countries in North America and Europe as a total export of Nigerian resources that will bear no return on capital investment.
Awosika said Nigerian parents have been struggling to give their children good education with scarce financial resources, but they leave to find greener pastures in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other European nations.
The former FBN boss said this at the annual Vanguard Economic Discourse 2023, themed, ‘Taming inflation and stimulating growth: The place of fiscal & monetary policies’, on Wednesday in Lagos.
She said, “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.”
Awosika, however, urged the Nigerian government to address the loopholes in the economy to prevent the Japa syndrome from threatening the country.
“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, the Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Niyi Yusuf, said Nigeria needs to institutionalise efficiency in the administration of its tax collection systems.
He said, “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.”
The General Manager and Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard Media Ltd, Gbenga Adefaye, said the Vanguard Economic Discourse happened at the right time, considering the country was heading into another period of electing new leaders.