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52% of Nigerian experts experience “Japa”

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By Usman Oladimeji

Brain drain crisis continues to worsen in Nigeria affecting major sectors.

A recent survey report released by Phillips Consulting (PCL) found that roughly 52 percent of Nigerian expertise are thinking about quitting their jobs and moving abroad within the next year, depicting the heightened state at which Nigerians emigrate in search of greener pastures. The talent management firm delivered its study, “A New World Order: Shifting Paradigms In Addressing Brain Drain,” during the quarterly meeting of the Nigerian Human Resources Directors Network in Lagos. This brain drain crisis locally referred to as “Japa syndrome” continues to worsen in the country, particularly within the health and IT industries.

A major blow could be landed in the financial services, insurance, professional services, education, healthcare, and information technology industries as report found that nearly half of employees in the sectors are considering to Japa. Market uncertainty, inflation, rapid digitalization, shifting consumer behaviors, higher operational costs, and increased complexity are just some of the issues that the survey found Nigerian firms confront in the post-pandemic world. However, today’s most important challenges are preventing employee turnover and the loss of highly qualified employees.

Workers are resigning or migrating for a mix of issues.

The survey found that the growing cost of living is having a negative effect on workers’ disposable income and output. Even before the crisis in Ukraine, the Nigerian economy had been struggling with high unemployment and widespread insecurity. The scenario has made it even more difficult for many to make ends meet, reducing their purchasing power and adding to the already high cost of living. It also indicated that 90% of Nigerians are reducing their expenditures on both necessities and luxuries as a result of the current economic climate. Therefor, people are more likely to relocate for better career opportunities.

As a result, workers are focusing on expanding revenue streams, bolstering the economy, and raising the quality of life for all. Many people are developing supplemental income streams, searching for higher paid professions, or even relocating abroad in order to accomplish their goals. Competition for talent is fierce, especially in middle- and lower-skilled fields, as labour shortages worsen around the world. PCL report also revealed workers are resigning or migrating for a mix of issues, some of which are either within or beyond the organization’s direct control.

Organizations need to re-evaluate employee value propositions.

According to the report, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are the top three countries of choice for the intending migrants. While opinions on why people leave their home countries differ, many of those surveyed listed considerations including a desire for financial stability, safety, and autonomy as primary motivators for leaving their native land. The consulting firm observed that 88 percent of individuals planning to quit their jobs within a year are millennials and Gen Z. A considerable loss of skilled workers may result from this demographic change, which may have an adverse effect on vital industries and the economy as a whole.

There are also many young, educated professionals in this population who are in high demand on the international labour market. If Nigeria achieves certain criteria, more than half of those surveyed said they would reconsider leaving the country. Peaceful conditions, a thriving economy, ample opportunity for decent work at fair wages, and capable leadership are considered essential. It was suggested that to compete in today’s dynamic market, organizations need to re-evaluate their employee value proposition and talent management strategy. This includes things like being open to flexible work schedules, creating a just remuneration plan, and facilitating employee growth.

Governments are urged to create a safe working environment.

Employers are encouraged to re-evaluate their approach to deal with the cost-of-living challenge, commit more heavily in strategic talent management, and work to increase employee job satisfaction and retention to cultivate productive and varied high-performance cultures. Governments were urged also to create a safe and prosperous environment in which people want to work. Ultimately, the government should invest more in initiatives that improve social mobility and encourage people to remain in their communities and make positive contributions to its growth.

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