Over the last 20 years, Nigerians living in the Western part of the world have become
one of the best sets of people with great technology expertise, second only to Asians.
Many Nigerian technology experts and professionals in Diaspora have accomplished
magnificent achievements for themselves and their adopted countries, most of whom
were no longer interested on returning back to their motherland until about five years
ago when the country began to pave way for their return through the attraction of fairly
stable exchange rate and business’ willingness to pay fairly decent wages in return for
the expertise provided which made returning home a bit more attractive.
However, the economic cycle in which Nigeria finds herself today has yielded more
cons than pros such that business and technology development have slide down
considerably as the exchange rate saga plays out. More and more technology experts
and professionals are returning to Europe and America to ply their trade as the
depreciating naira value is no longer justifying their stay in the country nor able to
maintain their life styles. In most cases, many of them have friends and families living
abroad and therefore have foreign exchange commitments which cannot be met on
their current naira income. For example, a technology professional engaged in April
2015 when the exchange rate was $1 to N150 is now effectively earning half of the
wage in 2016 when unofficial rate from banks is $1 to N320. With mortgage, education
and other commitment abroad, the professional may be left with no option but
contemplate a return to a place where he or she can meet her/his obligations.
Expansion of the ICT infrastructure has become a daunting task in Nigeria due to the
epileptic power supply situation that has crippled the nation’s economy over a long time
now. The lack of equipment is another factor as technology transits from 2G, 3G and
4G, and also which studies have shown that there is a deficit of some 20,000 BTS in the
country. The quality of services from our telecoms provider will continue to be a
challenge until the enormous gap between available base transmission stations (BTS)
and the required number is bridged. The investment is still needed to bridge existing
gaps in the industry. More also, all these equipment could only be imported into the
country with a stable Forex rate.
On a final note, the task of delivering technology is becoming more challenging and very
expensive once again as skilled technologists are becoming rarer in Nigeria, by the day.
Despite our local resources that were understudying, ‘Returnees’ are beginning to find
their way out of the country for greener pastures. There is a new level of attrition
amongst technology personnel, especially those with less than five years of experience,
most of whom either find ways to travel overseas or hop to other local employer to
double their earnings.