A don and Professor of Computer Science at the University of Ibadan, Idowu Sunday, has said the dwindling economy and insecurity are encouraging more experts in the country’s Information Technology industry to leave Nigeria for other countries.
He also said government’s inability to create an enabling environment had made it difficult for the sector to experience significant growth in the country in the last few years, adding that majority of banks had lost their IT experts as a result of low pay when compared to developed countries.
The professor, who said this while speaking in an interview with Sunday PUNCH, stressed that government should concentrate the nation’s resources on rescuing critical sectors of the country.
He said, “Why won’t they ‘japa’? If I were younger than this, I would have also left; I wouldn’t have come back to this country.
“The point is when you work very hard in Nigeria and the return is not up to one hundred dollars and your colleague who is working either in Facebook or any other IT company in the UK or the US are earning hundred times of what you are earning, you will see that they have no option but to find their way out of the country.
“The issues of facilities like electricity which are not reliable and the cost of internet services are also on the high side here. This issue of $1 to N800 is killing.
“For you to buy a laptop now, it is very expensive. So, why would I stay here? Most of the banks have also lost their IT experts because they have not been appreciated enough.
“Government needs to create an enabling environment. If I can ask, how many secondary schools in Nigeria are on the Internet? They can’t afford it. They should put the necessary infrastructure in place.”
In the same vein, a Professor of Computer Science, University of Benin, Godspower Ekuobase, said the Nigerian government and the private sector should be more concerned about the spate of IT experts leaving the country.
He expressed the need for the government to provide adequate legislation that will encourage foreign IT companies to establish in Nigeria, adding that there should be an IT policy that would focus on the development of the sector.