The quality of education in any country is critical to its national and human capital development. Education is regarded as an effective tool to transform and equip the citizens of any society to become a contributing member of the society. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s education sector is saturated with corruption and has fallen deep into a state of disrepair over the years.
For an educational sector where teachers are not being taken care of with reasonable remuneration and are owed salaries for months, the resultant effect is undoubtedly what we have now in Nigeria – a surge in the quest for foreign education, which has constituted a great deal of financial and brain drain to the country, mainly because the foreign countries most likely will not transform the financial drain to a brain gain for Nigeria.
Nigeria has about 170 universities, and yet, many Nigerian elites have their children abroad, and a majority of other citizens are seeking admission to different institutions abroad. Brookings Institute report revealed that Nigeria has one of the world’s lowest allocation to education which results in poor infrastructures, inadequate learning facilities, poor research endeavours and a lack of qualified teachers.
Also, data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics revealed that out of the over 500,000 African students seeking admission abroad, Nigerian students occupy the topmost position with about a quarter of all African students in the United states. the data also revealed that more than 25% of Nigerian student migrants are in the UK, making Nigeria one of the top 10 countries with students in the UK. Aside from the US and UK, other nations with several Nigerian students are Ghana, Canada, Malaysia, Ukraine, South Africa, among others.
Considering Nigeria’s economic challenges, the multitude of Nigerian students abroad causes a financial drain that subtly affects its economy. Mainly because most of these universities Nigerian elites send their wards to are considered to have one of the world’s highest tuition fees.
Besides, many foreign-trained professionals perturbed by the nation’s employment uncertainties, coupled with growing insecurities and other economic and political uncertainties, often seek refuge in their countries of study. This, in turn, leads to a shortage of skilled human resources in the country.
What is more disturbing is that this issue has been on the increase in recent time. Hence, unless the problems of corruption, low education budget allocation, intelligence prioritisation and inefficient use of resources are solved, Nigeria’s financial and professional human resources will continue to be sold to foreign nations.