Nigeria’s labour Minister, Ngige, doesn’t care about staggering brain drain
In Africa, Nigeria has the highest number of professionals leaving the shores of the country in search of ‘greener pastures’ elsewhere especially in Europe and America. Dependable sources confirmed that there are more than 4000 medical doctors of Nigerian decent practising in the United States of America (USA) alone.
Report say half of the country’s youthful population may leave the country in few years. But despite these stunning revelation, Nigeria’s labour Minister, Chris Ngige said he doesn’t bother about Nigerian professionals leaving the country. Related News
Ngige said he is not worried about doctors leaving the country because ”there are enough doctors”.
When asked by the presenter to comment on the brain drain in the country and if the deliberate recruitment of Nigerian doctors by foreign embassies is detrimental to the nation’s health sector, the minister said, “No, I am not worried about doctors leaving the country, we have a surplus.
“If you have a surplus, you export. It happened some years ago here. I was taught chemistry and biology by Indian teachers in my secondary school days. There is a surplus in their country, and we also have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. In my area, we have excess,” he said.
According to him, ”I know a couple of them who practise abroad but set up medical centres back home. They have a CAT scan, MRI scan which even the government cannot maintain. So, I don’t see any loss.
“Who said we don’t have enough doctors? We have more than enough. You can quote me. There is nothing wrong in them travelling out. When they go abroad, they earn money and send them back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them and not just oil.”
Ngige said brain drain would only be inimical ”when, for instance, neurosurgeons travel and we don’t have neurosurgeons here”.
In the health sector,
despite official data showing that Nigeria ‘gravely’ lacks an adequate number of doctors, Ngige said Nigeria has sufficient medical doctors and does not need any Nigerian doctor who wants to leave.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, as of 2013, showed there were about four doctors for every 10,000 Nigerians (one for 2,500), far below the organisation’s recommendation of one doctor to 600 patients.
Also, according to official data from the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), as of December 2017, Nigeria had over 39,000 registered medical doctors. This implies that with an estimated population of 193 million as of 2016, Nigeria had one medical doctor to about 4,845 citizens, less than 20 per cent of the WHO recommendation.
However, Nigeria’s labour and employment minister, Chris Ngige, claims the country has ‘enough’ medical doctors to attend to the needs of Nigerians.
He, however, did not provide any evidence to back his claim on this.
Ngige made the declaration on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Wednesday.
Ngige’s comment is coming weeks after Saudi officials stormed Nigeria to recruit medical doctors.
Similarly, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Abuja Branch, Ekpe Phillips, in his lecture at the 2018 event advised the government to emulate India by bringing back its medical professionals who migrated to other countries.
”This exodus is continuously increasing. We produce 1,600 doctors every year, and 1,200 are leaving the country. With the number of doctors getting old and retiring, you see there is no replacement, which is a big problem that might lead to the collapse of the Nigerian health system if not tackled,” he said.
Premium Times reports that there has been a massive brain drain in the Nigerian health sector in recent years.
“Nigerian doctors migrate periodically to the U.S, Canada, Saudi Arabia, the UK and other nations. It is estimated that at least 12 Nigerian doctors leave the shores of this country to practice overseas, weekly.