The Brain Drain Effect

My brother once said to me, “the good ones will always leave”. At the time I had some challenges at work. I had felt the environment wasn’t conducive for me to excel and was searching for other opportunities. One thing that worries me at the time was not the quantity of people that left the organization at the time but also the quality. When highly trained and experienced staff leave in troves, it is never a good sign.

Organizations and countries have a lot of similarities but the most prominent one is that both have people as their primary resource. Both without the right minds are nothing. I know organizations who crash because someone or a group of key persons left.  Some eventually make it back up but it’s not always an easy climb back to the top.

Most organizations have been able to introduce  number of solutions geared towards reducing the impact of  such key losses. Most ensure well documented processes to ease transitions. How do we ensure such in a   larger environment without the existing constraints of organizations; like in a country.

My country Nigeria, home to inventors, Nobel laureates and birthplace to some of the greatest minds in the world. One would expect such a country to be if not number 1, at least the top 5. How many countries have what we have (the resources and minds). Not even the US can stand us if we make good use of what we’ve been endowed with by God. But then we are just a 3rd world country, with no hope of promotion anytime soon.

Yes Nigeria’s car is stuck on Neutral with the engine barely running, a lot of smoke but no movement. Stuck in mud and the more we accelerate the deeper in the mud we go until our clutch pads get burnt and we have to replace it at the polls only to repeat the same thing over. We easily forget the main reason the car is stuck is the mud, the environment is not conducive for progress.

So the good ones look for better environments conducive for progress and those left will jump ship at the first opportunity. These are people that if given the opportunity will immensely contribute to the success of our country and all they ask for is a conducive environment. A flower will flourish without stress as long as it’s getting water and sunlight and it’s not asking for too much of either just a little of each. I once sent a lady flowers and she loved it why because it was beautiful because it was grown in a conducive environment.

So if the brains that would have made our country and Africa as a whole great keep leaving then is there any hope for us. Like an organization that looses its best people, we are on a nosedive. As a country and as a continent, we need to start working on the society and consciously nurture a conducive environment to keep the great minds and encouraging enough for those that have left to come back. Let us dig below the wheels of the car and put some dry planks and together push the car out of the mud to the road.

We don’t require a lot to stop the brain drain. All is needed are the basics, let’s put the vehicle in the first gear and gradually we make progress. The continuous brain drain only benefits the host countries and putting a stop to it starts with you and I.

God bless Nigeria. God bless Africa.

#stopthedrain #makeitcount #shawata

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