By Oladele Eniola
Stakeholders in the creative industry have advised the Federal Government to recognise the potential of the industry in mitigating the brain drain phenomenon.
They gave the advice during the screening of the documentary with the title, “Brain Drain”, by Collins Akpapunam, on Wednesday, in Lagos.
The documentary sheds light on the experiences of Nigerian Americans who migrated from Nigeria after completing their higher education.
Dr Lucy Newman, the CEO of Africa Private Sector Summit, advised that the government should prioritise investment in the private sector as a means to combat brain drain in the country.
Newman said that it was important to create a conducive environment for young people to come back to.
In order to curb the alarming brain drain phenomenon across all sectors, she said that the government needed to establish mechanisms aimed at tackling this issue.
According to him, investing significantly in the private sector is one of the ways through which the government can stimulate economic growth and redirect the country’s trajectory.
Newman also emphasised the necessity of building the necessary infrastructure and opportunities for the younger generation.
“Proper planning must be done for short and long term solutions and most importantly, the private sector must be given the right tools to drive the economy growth,” she said.
Dr Ngozi Omambala, Chairperson, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Creative and Entertainment Sector, urged the federal government to prioritise and elevate the creative industry.
She noted that the industry has the potential to become the driving force behind the economy.
She noted that proper investment in the creative and entertainment industry could help reduce the menace of brain drain in the country.
She said that investing in the creative and entertainment sector could contribute significantly to reducing the brain drain challenge in the country.
Despite the absence of government support, she said the creative and entertainment sector had shown resilience and progress.
According to her, with proper investment, the sector can thrive and become a valuable asset for the nation, much like the “new oil”.
“Many of the creatives don’t want to leave the country because they feel they can showcase their talents in the country and any part of the world since we are in global village.
“So, the government need to see the sector as the new oil and explore and exploit it,” she said.
Mr Oludare Shobajo, Group Head, Human Capital Management, Asset & Resource Management Holding Company (ARM) suggested the establishment of a database to monitor the movement of individuals entering and leaving the country.
“The advent of digital technology has helped to cushion the effects of brain drain as people can work from any part of the world without having to go out of their zone but more can be done on a larger scale.
“We are forced to build talent due to the brain drain in the country. So this issue must be curbed and one way of doing that is by setting up a database to keep tabs on this.
“Having a database of people that coming and leaving the country would help the government in identifying areas that needs to be addressed to curb this particular issue.
“Another extremely important factor is that the government ensures that there are proper mechanisms in place to ensure that when people come, they can have things to fall back onto,” he said.
Mr Jermain Sanwo-Olu, Senior Special Adviser on Diaspora and Foreign Relations to the Lagos State Governor, noted that the state was exploring diaspora opportunities and outsourcing the economy.
He noted that brain drain could be used as a potential opportunity to exploit for the gain of the economy.
“We are working to ensure that opportunities are created for people so that they wouldn’t leave the country and one of the many ways that we are doing that is by exploring diaspora opportunities.
“We are also looking at how we can be an outsourcing economy where foreigners would pay Nigerians to work them in foreign countries as we see the brain drain as a potential opportunity that can be exploited,” he said.
Mr Victor Lutenco, Head of International Organisation of Migration (IOM), Lagos Sub-Office, urged the public to have a plan and migrate through the legal channels.
He reiterated IOM’s commitment in enhancing the resilience and protection of migrants, internally displaced persons and the communities.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the screening of the documentary was a collaborative effort between IOM and Effizzi Communications Ltd. (NAN)
Edited by Olawunmi