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Brain drain hits Nigeria’s telecom sector as more experts relocate abroad  

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Telecom operators in Nigeria are disturbed over the mass exodus of telecom experts from the country.

Stakeholder in the industry  argued that the trend if not checked may lead to poor quality of services as competent hands are resigning their positions in telecom companies to travel out of the country.

Speaking at the ICT Growth Conference held in Lagos recently, Executive Secretary of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) Mr. Ajibola Olude, said over 2,000 telecom experts have left the country this year and many are still in the process of leaving. This, he said, could begin to affect the quality of the telecom networks if there are fewer competent hands to handle network issues.

“While we have been talking about the problems of multiple taxations and the high cost of Right of Way in the telecoms sector, a new challenge is coming up and that is the issue of brain drain in telecoms. Many competent hands are leaving the country for greener pasture abroad. In the course of this year alone, over 2,000 have left and many are still going to leave. We have to do something; the government has to do something in this regard to encourage Nigerians to stay.

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Describing the issue as a serious concern for the telecoms industry, the Chairman of Mobile Software Solutions Limited, Mr. Chris Uwaje, said the government would have to put in place the right infrastructure that can keep young Nigerians engaged and give them hope for a brighter future in the country.

“The government is currently blind with regard to the digital brain and is only concerned with revenue generation. Those who are ‘japaing’–I would want Nigerians to look for another word for the exodus of its human capital because it sounds like a joke but this is a serious issue—are leaving because the government has failed to provide the social infrastructure they need to survive.

“If Nigeria had built telecommunications knowledge Parks and put thousands of youths there, many of them can be working for foreign companies from there; that is outsourcing. They don’t have to run out of the country to work for foreigners. They will be doing that here and earning in foreign currencies. We need the government to build these Parks to encourage our young ones to stay.”

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