Brain Drain among Five Issues Catholic Bishops of Nigeria’s Ibadan Province Want Addressed

Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province. Credit: Ibadan Archdiocese

Catholic Bishops of Nigeria’s Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province (IEP) have highlighted five issues of concern in the West African nation, region, and continent that they want addressed, including the brain drain, which they have termed “hemorrhage”.

In their collective statement issued Thursday, August 17, IEP members also highlight the “intriguing and debilitating times” in Nigeria, the Coup in Niger, insecurity, and food security as issues they want addressed.

“The bleak atmosphere of hope for a better life in Nigeria is partially responsible for the mass migration of Nigerian Professionals, workers and youths who continue to seek greener pastures in other lands,” the Catholic Bishops lament.

The brain drain in Nigeria, they add, “has been on the increase mainly because of the economic situation in the country, dwindling opportunities and the disdain with which Nigerian governments at all levels treat the legitimate demands of workers for improved working conditions.”

“It is the responsibility of the government to see that no one is forced to leave his fatherland due to such push-factors, such as bad governance, insecurity, bad economy, unaffordable and unstable education system, and lack of job opportunities,” the Catholic Bishops further say in their statement shared with ACI Africa.


They urge the Nigerian government to take action, saying, “The hemorrhage can only be controlled if the government responds to its duties of forging a conducive environment for Nigerians to attain their legitimate aspirations in life.”

On the difficulty for many in Africa’s most populous nation to make ends meet, IEP members say, “We pay tribute to fellow Nigerians for merely staying alive in these intriguing and debilitating times.”

They explain, “Between the shock of contestable elections, fuel subsidy removal and escalating cost of essential goods and services, the average Nigerian is shell-shocked and driven almost to desperation.”

“As citizens of one of the wealthiest nations on the planet and yet unable to live decent lives, Nigerians are still desperate for better times which seem now more and more like a mirage,” Catholic Bishops shepherding the people of God in the Archdiocese of Ibadan and the Dioceses of Ekiti, Ilorin, Ondo, Osogbo, and Oyo lament.

They further lament, “What many Nigerians go through on a daily basis is almost unspeakable. It is distressing that Nigerian leaders, past and present, continue to exact more sacrifice from ordinary Nigerians while increasing their own scandalous remunerations and comfort.”

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“What more, most of our current leaders seem to lead the country without any compass, hardly knowing what to do about anything,” the Catholic Church leaders say.

They underscore the need for action on the part of the government and highlight what the national and state leaders need to do for the citizenry.

“The demands of Nigerians are very straightforward and simple, namely: purposeful leadership and good governance, verifiable security of life and property, decent infrastructure and social amenities, the enforcement of the rule of law and a conducive atmosphere for development,” IEP members say.

They add, “These are not unthinkable demands to make. All Nigerian leaders stand indicted unless they make a change, shun prebendalism and serve the aspirations of their people.”   

Turning their attention to the coup in the West African country of Niger, and the efforts being undertaken by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the crisis that started on July 26, the Catholic Bishops advocate for “non-military means”.


“Governments that fail to represent the interest of their people in democracy, compromise their legitimacy,” they say, and add, “Nigerians favor negotiation and other non-military means and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is president first and foremost of Nigeria needs to listen to Nigerians before anyone else”

Regarding the challenge of insecurity, IEP members say, “All over the country insecurity remains an emergency of serious concern. Whether in the form of kidnapping, banditry, insurgency or ritual killing, Nigerians feel increasingly hemmed in, in their own country.”

“Regular news of brutality and killing from the security agencies who should protect the people only intensifies the siege context in which daily life continues. Government must show greater seriousness in tackling these challenges head on,” they add. 

In their collective statement signed by IEP President, Archbishop Gabriel Abegunrin, the Catholic Church leaders describe food security in Nigeria as “a major concern”.

“Nigeria currently is at risk on many fronts. Of these, food security is a major concern. Any country unable to feed its citizens, will be a perpetual victim of manipulation and does not deserve its sovereignty,” they say.

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The Catholic Bishops add, “Government must have sustainable programmes for food production, preservation and processing and provide facilities for Nigerians to engage in it.”

Against this backdrop, IEP members call for a moral regeneration in Nigeria, saying, “The strength of any nation lies not only in its political or economic power but more in its moral integrity.”

“We must admit that our country is in serious deficit of moral rectitude. As Bishops, we are concerned that this is not being given serious attention in our schools, formation programmes and public institutions,” they lament.

The Catholic Church leaders urge individuals, families, institutions, and the government at all levels to “put integrity and moral rectitude as a priority in their relationships and operations.”   

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.