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‘Japa Syndrome’: House of Reps Rejects Motion to Nigeria’s Brain Drain a National Emergency

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ABUJA, Nigeria – On Thursday, June 15, 2023, the House of Representatives rejected a motion aimed at declaring the increasing emigration of young Nigerians abroad, a phenomenon known as the “Japa” syndrome, a national emergency.

The motion, proposed by Rep. Philip Agbese (APC-Benue), a former resident of the United Kingdom who is now a lawmaker in Nigeria, was dismissed during the plenary session.

Agbese, citing statistics from the Nigerian Economic Summit, argued that a growing number of young Nigerians were seeking to relocate abroad.

Furthermore, he referenced a report by the African Polling Institute, which indicated that 69% of young Nigerians would choose to emigrate if given the opportunity.

The lawmaker also noted a 40% increase in emigration among young Nigerians compared to figures recorded in 2019.

This was corroborated by data from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), which recorded that international emigration from Nigeria in 2020 reached 1.7 million, a significant increase from the 990,000 reported in 2010.

Agbese voiced concerns over the potential dangers the increasing trend of youth emigration posed to Nigeria, ranging from economic to intellectual and social aspects.

However, when Speaker of the House Reps Abbas put the motion to a vote, it was unanimously rejected by the lawmakers, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

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