Joy Ezeilo, a professor of Law at the University of Nigeria, has expressed concerns about the potential consequences of the International Engineering Alliance’s approval for the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) to join the Washington Accord. She warns that this approval, while beneficial for COREN engineers, may result in an exodus of engineering professionals from Nigeria.
The Washington Accord is a multilateral agreement that promotes good practices in engineering education and is intended for bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programs. Ezeilo raised these concerns during her address at the first Charles Mbanefo Memorial Lecture organized by the Abuja branch of the Nigerian Society of Engineers.
In her paper titled “Rising Emigration of Professionals and Impact on Nigeria’s Development: A Case Study of Engineers,” Ezeilo highlighted the reasons why Nigerian engineering professionals might choose to migrate, including the prospect of higher income, improved living conditions, a better work environment, and access to better research facilities.
Ezeilo noted that the recent announcement of COREN becoming a signatory to the Washington Accord makes Nigeria the second African member of the organization. While many Nigerian engineers have already been leaving the country in recent years, Ezeilo suggests that this new development could encourage further migration to other member countries in search of better opportunities.
She also identified poor funding, inadequate industrial training, and outdated equipment as challenges facing the engineering profession in Nigeria. Additionally, Ezeilo mentioned that the country’s saturated economic environment, limited capacity to absorb the available workforce, and a political impasse could contribute to the outflow of professionals.
The professor’s warning underscores the need for Nigeria to address these challenges and create an environment that encourages engineering professionals to remain in the country, contribute to its development, and prevent a significant brain drain.