Professional services firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers has said that exporting brain capital to the global market has the potential of triggering significant development of the Nigerian economy.
In a report titled ‘Brain exports: The optimal path to growing the Nigerian economy’, the company said placing Nigerians on high-end global value chains represents a positive stride toward achieving the goal.
Brain export occurs when a foreign national is inserted into global value chains and then exchanges their brain capital for foreign currency which is then remitted to the country where the talent is physically located.
According to the report, Nigeria was strategically positioned to benefit from brain exports given its relatively young population as against the ageing population of developed countries like Germany, Japan, Italy and the United States.
It stated that, “It is estimated that the worldwide working-age population would lead to a 10 per cent decline by 2060. Japan in particular tops this list with 28 per cent of its population above 65 and Italy comes second with 23 per cent.
“In contrast, only 2.7 per cent of the Nigerian population is above 65 which means Nigeria is strategically positioned to supply labour to the global market, thus presenting a strong comparative advantage.”
Speaking on Nigeria’s comparative advantage with regard to exporting brain capital, Partner & Chief Economist, PwC Nigeria, Dr Andrew Nevin, said the country could transition from a developing to a developed nation within 10 to 20 years, but must seek and follow a path different from the traditional development path.
Nevin said, “We believe that the traditional strategy for development is not the most efficient path to improve the quality of life for Nigerians. It takes too long to deliver the expected benefits and Nigeria has not been successful in following this path.
“Most developed countries adopted the traditional path, but it required significant financial investments spread over a long period. Unlike these countries, Nigeria lacks the finances and cannot afford to waste time.”