FACT-CHECK: Has Nigeria lost more teachers to ‘Japa’ as the education minister claimed?

FACT-CHECK: Has Nigeria lost more teachers to ‘Japa’ as the education minister claimed?
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Claim: The Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, claimed that the sector has suffered the most and lost more teachers to brain drain than any other sector in the country.

Verdict: The minister’s claim lacks reliable evidence.

Full Text:

The minister made the claim on July 4 during the inauguration of the governing councils of federal tertiary institutions in Nigeria at a ceremony held at the Nigerian University Commission.

He said, “The education sector has actually suffered the most from the Japa syndrome than any other sector in Nigeria.”

The minister further said, “A lot of time we talk about the medical personnel but I can confirm to you that we have lost more teachers in Nigeria than any other sector, especially for teachers in the tertiary institutions.

“In the face of this loss, we now have private universities coming up, competing for the same staff with the public universities.”

Brain drain has become a major issue in Nigeria as the emigration of professionals continues to create a vacuum in the affected sectors. Being a critical sector, the impact on the health sector has become a national discourse as doctors battle to prevent lawmakers from signing a bill that makes it compulsory for graduates in medical and dental fields to render services within Nigeria for five years before being granted full license.


To highlight the negative impact of the ‘japa’ syndrome on the education system, Professor Mamman said the effect on the sector has been undermined.

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Ripples Nigeria reports that, while the data of doctors who have left the country is presented, the education minister showed none. And that begs the question: How many teachers/educators have left the country for the sector to have “suffered the most”?

The Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), in its 2023 report, revealed that over 3.6 million Nigerians migrated in two years to other countries.

Earlier this year, Prof. Mamman’s counterpart, the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Muhammad Pate said on the Channels TV’s Politics Today show that about 16,000 doctors left the country in the last five years and about 17,000 have been transferred.

“We did an assessment and discovered that we have 85,000 to 90,000 registered Nigerian doctors. Not all of them are in the country. Some are in the diaspora, especially in the US and UK. But there are 55,000 licensed doctors in the country,” the minister said.

Other reports also quoted a data by the Development Research and Project Centre (dRPC), which stated that 233 Nigerian doctors moved to the UK in 2015; the number increased to 279 in 2016; in 2017 the figure was 475, in 2018, the figure rose to 852, in 2019 it jumped to 1,347; in 2020, the figure was 833 and in 2021, it was put at 932.

Also in July, the President of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), Emeka Orji, disclosed that the association was left with only a few over 9,000 medical doctors, due to the brain drain crisis in the healthcare system.

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Meanwhile, Ripples Nigeria is not aware of any available database (either by the National University Commission or education ministry) documenting teachers’ exodus in Nigeria.


There is no open-source information that supports the minister’s claim that the education sector is the most affected by brain drain.

By Quadri Yahya

The post FACT-CHECK: Has Nigeria lost more teachers to ‘Japa’ as the education minister claimed? appeared first on Latest Nigeria News | Top Stories from Ripples Nigeria.


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