The Minister of Labour and Employment, Mr Chris Ngige has said that he is not bothered about the decision of medical doctors who choose to leave Nigeria to practice outside the country.
Ngige who was a guest on Channels TV Sunrise Daily said the practice is not alien to Nigeria, because he was taught by Indians in secondary school.
“I’m Not Worried, We Have Surplus (Doctors), if we have a surplus, we export. I was taught Biology and Chemistry by Indian teachers in my secondary school days.
“They are surplus in their country. We have a surplus in the medical profession in our country. I can tell you this. It is my area, we have excess. We have enough, more than enough, quote me.”
Ngige, when asked if nothing was wrong, owing to his position as a qualified medical doctor, said there was nothing wrong in their choice to practise overseas, at the detriment of Nigeria’s health sector.
“There is nothing wrong, they go out to sharpen their skills, earn money and send them back home here. Yes, we have foreign exchange earnings from them, not from oil.”
The minister said the move does not amount to brain drain when asked.
“Those guys go there, they are better trained because of the facilities they have there. Eventually, I know a couple of them who practise abroad but set up medical centres back home. They have CAT scan, MRI scan which even the government hospitals cannot maintain. So, I don’t see any loss.
“Brain drain will only be inimical when for instance neurosurgeons travel and we don’t have neurosurgeons here.”