Switch headers Switch to TIGweb.org

Are you an TIG Member?
Click here to switch to TIGweb.org

HomeHomeExpress YourselfPanoramaNigerians: Explorers of New Frontiers
a TakingITGlobal online publication

(Advanced Search)

Panorama Home
Issue Archive
Current Issue
Next Issue
Featured Writer
TIG Magazine
Short Story
My Content

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Nigerians: Explorers of New Frontiers Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Pedus, Australia Dec 10, 2006
Culture , Human Rights , Globalization   Opinions
 1 2   Next page »


Nigeria may not have the best reputation in the International community because of the fragility of our socio-economic and political structure resulting in instability in many facets of our national life. But as a proud Nigerian who has travelled extensively, it never ceases to amaze me how Nigerians of different demographic identities have contributed to the economic well-being of the same countries that tend to relegate the international significance of our nation to the background.

Of particular interest to me is the contributions Nigerians have made in the area of healthcare delivery in countries such as the USA, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand just to mention a few. As a healthcare professional with extensive travelling experience, my colleaques and I have often discussed the exponential exportation of healthcare professionals from Nigeria to many parts of the world where they have continued to explore and conquer new frontiers. We have essentially joined the ranks of India and the Phillipines in this global trend. We as Nigerians may not appreciate the value of our education and our capacity to make a difference beyond the shores of our country. One would argue that we need these health professionals at home more than we need them overseas. However, the fact is that labour migration is a unifying international force and no matter the perspective from which one looks at the issue, not every Nigerian will remain in Nigeria. And the fact that Nigeria is producing more graduates than the labour market can absorb makes the notion of labour migration ethical and justifiable.

I am currently in Australia and two months ago attended Nigeria's independence celebration party with all its typical flavour -savory and mouth-watering Nigerian dishes, music, drama, etc- but I was more interested in counting the number of people that introduced themselves and in the process identified themselves as doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and engineers, not to mention other professionals in attendance. Perth, Western Australia is known to be the most isolated city in the world, but in this rich, beautifully isolated city of a little more than one million people are more than 20 qualified Nigerian doctors and about 25 Registered nurses not to mention the engineers who work in the field of oil and gas exploration and mining and other fields of technology and science. From general ractitioners to cardiologists, psychiatrists, endocrinologists, pulmonologists, dermatologists, neurosurgeons and pediatritians just to mention a few, these Nigerian have done us proud. A local confessed that not having these Nigerians here doing what they do is better imagined than experienced. This highlights our international importance. This is the same in the USA where I live and was educated. The story is similar in the UK and Canada, New Zealand and parts of South America, Asia and other parts of Western Europe.

I have worked with some of these professionals and their commitment to their professions and their expertise are second to none. These are professionals par excellence who have continued to make us proud, professionals whose attitude to work, family values and respect for the laws of their hosts countries are enough to dispell some of the misconceptions and prejudices that some people may have about people who have a different cultural identity.

In my opinion, being from an Anglophone country is one advantage for those who work and live in English-speaking countries. Integration for these people is achieved with minimal stress. At least this is one good thing that I have realized came out of our colonization by Britain.

Prior to independence in 1960, teachers, nurses, doctors and missionaries, were brought into Nigeria from overseas. Today, we as Nigerians have continued to send missionaries, teachers, nurses and doctors to all parts of the world. As scientific innovations have brought about advances in modern medicine resulting in people from economically advantaged nations living longer, the need to continually boost the labour force in healthcare becomes a real challenge. And the fact that the local labour force is not enough has forced these countries to look beyond their shores for workers. The fact that Nigeria speaks English coupled with the quality of Nigerian graduates who currently work in these systems make it a worthwhile option. This increase in life expectancy has created an enormous opportunity for migration and many Nigerians have taken advantage of that. As it appears Nigeria produces more healthcare professionals than the local job market can absorb upon graduation, travelling overseas in search of a better livelihood for themselves and their families becomes real and imminent.

Labour migration has resulted in millions of dollars being sent to Nigeria yearly to friends and relatives. This is evident as one visits any Western Union money transfer office located at several banks dotted across Nigeria. This economic loop benefits Nigeria in more ways than one and as a Nigerian, I am proud of the significance of this beyond the shores of our country.

 1 2   Next page »   


You must be logged in to add tags.

Writer Profile

I was born in Nigeria and was educated in Nigeria, USA and Australia. I am the founder and president of Christina-Mae Recruitment Consortium Australia and the author of the book "When Things Go Wrong: Concepts of Change". I am also the co-founder of Child Aid Survival and Development International (CASDI). As a freelance journalist, I have contributed to a number of professional journals and newspapers, as well as worked in a number of e-journalism projects. I have traveled extensively and currently call Australia and the USA home with extensive involvement in African Human Rights issues.
You must be a TakingITGlobal member to post a comment. Sign up for free or login.