Nonetheless, this is not just a problem for Nigeria, as the African continent is expected to see a 75 per cent increase in expatriate staff over the next three years.
“It’s a big problem because for our population, we need to have a very large pool of specialised man power but we don’t seem to have that and what is responsible for this can be put in a historical context,” Austin Tam George, Executive Director of the Institute of Communication and Corporate Services told CNBC Africa.
For over 25 years, Nigeria was under military rule and what the military did was to see centres of learning as centres of opposition. Thus, the universities and other centres of learning in the country that were meant to be preparing future experts, were usually shutdown.
“The tendency was always for the military to see the institutions of learning as places that they had to attack and as places of opposition so what this meant was that there was a depreciation in the learning environment,” he explained.
As there are currently 10 million Nigerian professionals working in different countries around the world, George believes that this is a fundamental problem that can only be dealt with if the country develops its human capital.
“First of all, we need to make sure that there is enough budgetary provision. UN standards say that we need to have at least 25 per cent of our budget dedicated to education. We don’t have that yet,” he said.
He also believes that human capital needs to be built and that can only happen when there is tremendous commitment on the part of the government.
“We need to have something like a framework where there will be a partnership between the government and private sector participants to make sure that we build that,” he added.