Japa Syndrome in Nigeria – Nigeria is among the blessed countries in the world. It has a friendly climate devoid of several natural disasters. In addition to this, it can be described as a country flowing with “milk and honey.” This is because the land is blessed with abundant natural resources of which petroleum products constitutes a greater percentage of the foreign exchange reserve of the country. Nigeria’s resources if properly managed could be able to comfortably cater for its citizens and also extend a helping hand to other countries in need. What is being experienced in Nigeria is the least expectation of so many who are aware of how much this country is richly blessed.
There is a great epidemic in the land and it is known as the “Japa syndrome.” Japa means to leave, go or to run. It has its origin from the Yoruba people of the Western part of Nigeria. Who are those leaving you may ask? The majority of the youths of Nigeria of course who are supposed to constitute a greater percentage of the workforce in the country.
What is the course of the Japa Syndrome in Nigeria?
The high cost of living as a result of some unfavourable policies is forcing many Nigerians to emigrate in their numbers to other countries, some of the continents patronized by these emigrants are America, Asia and Europe.
It is unfortunate to note that the hike in fuel prices and inflation which has affected the cost of goods and services is a major factor of concern. Some citizens have been subjected to abject poverty most especially those whose salaries are fixed and was not increased during this season of inflation. Japa syndrome has come to stay unless something is being done to arrest the level of hardship tormenting some citizens in the country.
The health sector in Nigeria has been greatly affected because of this Japa syndrome. This is because health practitioners in the country are not really satisfied with the meagre salaries that they are being paid. Experts and highly skilled workers are now finding it more convenient to leave this country with their families if possible to look for other areas where they will be rewarded accordingly for their services.
People are also leaving the country in search of quality healthcare. Most of the hospitals in Nigeria could not be able to meet up with the healthcare equipments and facilities needed for the treatment of some health issues. Such affected people may not have any other option than to leave the country. The search for a favourable learning environment is also another reason why some students are leaving the country.
In another angle, insecurity is also forcing some Nigerians out of their “supposed to be” comfort zones. Some parts of Nigeria are no longer a safe place to be due to the constant attacks from unknown gunmen and terrorists. This should be also be noted as a contributory factor to the economic situation in the country. Investors are no longer finding these areas under constant attack favourable to site their businesses. Therefore, they are ready to go and look for other countries where their investments/properties and life will be secured.
Solutions to the Japa Syndrome in Nigeria
I strongly believe that all hope is not lost. One day, the citizens of this country who travelled to other countries because of the unfavorable conditions emanating in this country will consider coming back once again. We will live to see that Nigeria of our dream if the right thing is being done. Here are my suggestions on how this high emigration of Nigerians to other countries can be arrested.
Government should consider making favourable policies
Before a policy is being implemented in the country, I think that it should be carefully analyzed. If you are a leader, know that there will be no you without those you are leading. Consider every class of citizens in the country and know the percentage of people whom this policy will favour, if those to be favoured is on the thin line, such policy should be kept pending or discarded.
For instance, fuel subsidy removal in Nigeria is highly unfavorable to the “average man.” The prices of goods and services increased whereas the salaries of most workers in Nigeria remained constant. A greater percentage of the citizens in the Private sector can attest to this. The little loan being disbursed to cushion the effect of this policy didn’t solve much problems for the percentage of the population that received it. Government should be considerate in their future policy making and implementation.
Creation of Job Opportunities
So many talented and highly skilled youths are “wasting” in this country. Fresh graduates doesn’t have anywhere to pitch their tent. Yes, it is recommended that they get a skill or be self employed, all these involves capital and not everyone can afford such. Some courses equally requires an industrialized environment for its practice. Government should consider creating more jobs, giving tangible loans to graduates for them to use and set up their own businesses. If the loan scheme for youths and other entrepreneurs is enough, I don’t think that the Japa syndrome will continue to be on the increase.
Government should consider “making the environment attractive” for foreign investors. Private companies who have the capacity to build more industries should do so in order to help decrease the rate of unemployment in the country.
Implementation of a good salary structure for workers in the country
Both the private and public sectors in Nigeria needs to review and increase the salary structure of their workers. This is important because the salary structure of workers should reflect the economic realities in the country. This will be a great boost to their standard of living. Government should also have a task force to check the private sectors who are lagging behind in the implementation of such policies and take the necessary measures when necessary.
There should be a good provision of basic amenities
The government should try as much as possible to provide the basic amenities for its citizens. Good hospitals should be built with the necessary instruments and facilities. They should equally hire experienced healthcare workers to work in such health care centers.
Good learning environment should be provided to promote learning and discourage Nigerians migrating to other countries because students may secure a job over there after finishing their courses. Other basic amenities such as good road, electricity and good water source will discourage people from travelling out of the country.
Provision of security for lives and properties
When the environment is friendly, a lot of people may not find the need to leave this country. Government should provide good security for the lives and properties of the citizens of this nation as well as for foreign investors in the country.
For every problem, there is a solution. Solution will only come when such a problem is identified and tackled positively to bring out a permanent solution. All hands should be on deck to make our country a home for all. The rise of Japa Syndrome in Nigeria can be decreased if necessary measures are taken. Our leaders should also know that these countries that Nigerians are traveling to are benefitting very well from it. They get cheap labour and increase their foreign exchange earnings from the school fees, hospital bills and other amenities that these immigrants pays for. This can equally help make our country a better place if our country is favourable for all.