Can Skilled Returnees be Re-absorbed in Nigeria?


With the looming fallouts from the exit of Britain from the European Union (Brexit) and the upset victory of the United States President-elect Donald Trump, many skilled (and unskilled) Nigerians resident abroad – especially in the US and UK – are apprehensive about their status, and there are talks of some of them returning home to Nigeria to begin new lives in their fatherland. To you, does Nigeria have the required environment and capacity to re-absorb these skilled returnees, who have the potential to help turn around the economy positively? What can be done to ensure the right setting for the returnees to successfully deploy their valued skills?


* Nigeria is struggling with employing and empowering those on ground with little or no success, how much more people who are already used to a functional world where there is constant power supply to start with. Truth be told, we failed to plan and at their return, they would discover they are on their own and can only survive on their own not by government assistance.
– Miss Nkeiruka Abanna, Lagos State

* Of course yes. Nigeria is a country under development and the developed nations or countries used people to achieve their aims. It is a privilege having them back to us, but like the adage says, ‘better soup na money kill am’. The government must be ready to absorb them (the returnees) with better welfare not to them alone, but to all citizens.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna

* When a house becomes too small for increased population of a household, it gets expanded; or the family builds a second house, then “split”. Every country’s business environment is usually relentless, and strong enough to weed out the inefficient. But, Nigeria chases a mirage of wrong policy choice that is inconsistent with desired outcomes. Many of us at home seem boxed-in into a 1984 history note; hence can’t think, or act outside the box. It is obvious that the thoughts that created present debacles are not sufficient to bring us out. Fresh ideas, blood, and muscles are urgently needed to rescue our Nigeria Enterprise. But, I know that not all Nigerianexit from Britain or America will land at our shore. Some will go to Ghana, others South Africa, and the rest to Nnewi, Bini and Lagos. The impact will be positive to drive the real estate sector; sanitise the Civil Society mediocrity, as it were now, and mobilise ICT hub energy amongst the youth. Consequently, crime narratives will change, and “this changeless change” mantra will shift. Let them come, those who are willing and able; or disabled. Home is home.
– Mr. Moses Iyobhebhe, Abuja

* Yes, the skilled and even unskilled returnees can easily be re-absorbed back into Nigeria. All government needs to do is build a conducive environment by building infrastructure, security and power supply.
– Mr. Feyisetan Akeeb Kareem, CDHR Coordinator, Ogwashi-Ukwu, Delta State

* Yes, if Trump e.t.c. refuses to appreciate you and your worth even as you have truly seen it all out there, why not (if not) come home, invest wisely and better your life and those of fellow Nigerians with the vast opportunities waiting endlessly to be tapped and harnessed for true development and growth? With sincerity, unity and patriotism, we shall get to the promised land someday too. Home is home and we must (with positive mindset) develop it ourselves without Mr. Trump’s bullying tantrums and archaic over-ambition. Act now and fast. Welcome home and God bless Nigeria.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi, Lagos State

* Those that prayed and prophesied that Hillary Clinton would win the US elections were disappointed because man proposes and God disposes. The will of God has been done in the US elections; the expectations of the people have been cut off. Trump is God-sent to bring the US out from the woods. African leaders should work hard to accommodate all our people that Trump will deport soon because of paper problems.
– Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State

* Yes, both the skilled and unskilled returnees have one unique role (albeit economic) or another to play to uplift the good name of our dear fatherland using their invaluable wealth of various experiences. Obviously Nigeria is beclouded with complex challenges and disaffection e.t.c. now but this is where their (returnees) experience and prowess are paramount. It will be a symbiotic situation where every single stakeholder is a potential winner variously. This is that chance they must not miss especially with the very discriminatory and hostile environment against blacks out there. Nigeria must truly encourage returnees to come home. It is our home; we must tap and develop our vast wasting opportunities together as unity is strength. God bless Nigeria.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State

* Returnees are coming back to their own country Nigeria and I think the onus is on them to slot into society nicely. Why mystify them? If an American in, say, Japan decided to return home, would he/she get preferential treatment just because of that fact? I doubt it.
– Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R. Associates, Apo, Abuja

* What we need more than skilled labour is returnees who are ready to invest in our economy. We have an army of unemployed skilled labour already, so where do we place returnees? Skilled labour is not what we currently need, for example, even if all the nurses and doctors we have in the Diaspora are to return, our hospitals do not have the requisite facilities and equipment they need to make a difference. We need to start wooing our wealthy ones abroad to come back home to invest like Lebanon are currently doing. Unlike Lebanon however, the investment climate is too unfriendly to attract even the most patriotic entrepreneurs. We need to invite God into our affairs just like Akwa Ibom are doing and prospering.
– Mr. Buga Dunj, Jos, Plateau State

* As it is now it appears the government has not shown concern over even the skilled ones at home, how much more to settle returnees and absorb them.
– Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna

* There are two sides to the situation. One, would the returnees be willing to leave an organised environment for the unstable environment back home in Nigeria, or rather stick with the unfolding hostility in the US and Europe? Two, does the federal government have the political will and resources to woo these skilled and unskilled Nigerians abroad back home to come and contribute their own quota? One thing is clear though; despite the high unemployment rates in the country, the integration of returnees with vital skills will do Nigeria a lot of good.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State


Yes, they can: 4
No, they can’t: 0
Others: 7
Radical tip: Don’t mystify them!
Total no of respondents: 11
Male: 9
Female: 2
Highest location: Lagos (4)

Next Week:Will a Two-party System Improve Democracy and Devt?

Although Nigeria practices a multi-party system in her current political structure, some analysts believe a strict two-party system with different ideologies can help strengthen democracy and also promote overall development. Their thinking is that the party in opposition will keep the ruling party on its toes and hold it accountable to the people with constant monitoring, shadow cabinets and shadow reports, to ensure the latter delivers the dividends of democracy, while citizens will be free to choose or belong to either party based on personal preference. Do you agree to this two-party suggestion? If not, what do you recommend?

Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (November 24 & Monday, November 28) to,, Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, December 1