There is the common saying that out of every five black person in the world, one is a Nigerian.
This saying holds true for many, because no matter which country you visit – be it Bhutan or Greenland – chances are that you will stumble on a Nigerian doing one job or the other.
Since Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999, the federal government has always encouraged the return of Nigerians in diaspora to help channel their skills and knowledge towards the growth and development of the economy – particularly the tech sector.
The question is why the diaspora?
Why not just focus on local manpower?
According to the Migrations Policy Institute based in the United States, 29 percent of Nigerian-Americans over the age of 25 hold a graduate degree, compared to 11 percent of the overall U.S. population.
The New American Economy, in it’s January 2018 report titled “How Sub-Saharan Africans Contribute to the U.S. Economy,” noted that: “Sub-Saharan African immigrants (of which Nigerians constitute the majority) have higher levels of educational attainment than the U.S. population as a whole, and are more likely to have earned their degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, or STEM, field.”
It is therefore no surprise that the present administration is determined to re-channel this brain power in science and technology to drive Nigeria’s development.
In furtherance of this, the Minster of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu will embark on trip to the United States of to encourage indigenous professionals in diaspora to employ experience to develop Nigeria.
“The visit to the United States of America, which is from Aug. 27 to Sept. 4, 2018, will afford the Minister the opportunity to meet with Nigerians in the United States to sensitise them on the numerous advantages of the Executive Order No.5,” the ministry said in a statement.
“This is to ensure the realisation of the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 in accordance with section 5 (capacity building) of the Executive Order 5.
Analysts wait to see how this move would encourage indigenous professionals in the Diaspora to return home and use their experience to develop Nigeria.