The Nigerian Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr. Chris Ngige, has disclosed that he is not bothered about the decision of some medical doctors who choose to leave Nigeria to practice outside the country.
Ngige, while featuring as a guest on Channels TV Sunrise Daily, stated that Doctors are surplus in Nigeria and should be exported to fetch the country foreign exchange earnings.
“I’m Not Worried. We Have Surplus Doctors. if we have a surplus, we export. I was taught Biology and Chemistry by Indian teachers in my secondary school days.
“They are surplus in their country. We have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. It is my area, we have excess. We have enough, more than enough, quote me.”
Doctors can leave, it is more foreign exchange for Nigeria
The Minister was quizzed on the reason for making such a statement despite the ill-state of the Nigerian health sector. Surprisingly, he stressed that there was nothing wrong, owing to his position as a qualified medical doctor. Ngige reportedly stated further that there is nothing wrong in the choice Nigerian Doctors to practice overseas; even at the detriment of Nigeria’s health sector.
Also, the minister disclosed that the emigration of medical doctors who leave Nigeria to practise elsewhere is beneficial to the country because it is another source of revenue for the country.
“There is nothing wrong, they go out to sharpen their skills, earn money and send them back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them, not from oil.”
It does not amount to Brain Drain; Nigeria has enough experts
According to Ngige, the departure of professionals like doctors will not amount to brain drain. This is because Nigeria has more than enough medical experts, he said.
“Brain drain will only be inimical when, for instance, neurosurgeons travel and we don’t have neurosurgeons here.
“Those guys go there, they are better trained because of the facilities they have there. Eventually, I know a couple of them who practise abroad but set up medical centres back home. They have CAT scan, MRI scan which even the government hospitals cannot maintain. So, I don’t see any loss.”