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    Nigerian bishop’s call for return echoes Irish experience

    By Noreen Bowden | October 2, 2008

    Ireland’s experience as an immigrant nation often reflects its own emigrant heritage, and yet another example of this is reported in the Irish Times yesterday.

    Echoing the call of Ireland to its own emigrants to return as its economy boomed, a Nigerian bishop visiting Ireland has said his expat compatriots should consider bringing their knowledge back to their home country.

    Dr Hyacinth Egbebo, the bishop of Bomadi highlighted the situation in words that are reminiscent of Ireland in the 1980s, when highly educated emigrants departed for better opportunities:

    Most of those who leave the shores of Africa, they are the ones who could improve the continent. Now they’re leaving and there is a brain drain. If they don’t stay at home to improve Africa, then this migration will continue and there will be no end to it.

    He added,

    Every gifted Nigerian wants to leave the country. Generally they feel that the government has failed them. They’re looking for greener pastures out there, because they know that they have something to contribute to life and they cannot be locked away in a place where nothing really works.

    It’s very discouraging. People feel they’re better off to relocate and forget about Africa, but that would be a mistake. Africa is a gift to the world, and it is in our hands to make it bloom.

    Read the entire article in the Irish Times.

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