By Ugo Nwagwu
Senator Ben Murray-Bruce Thursday released on his Facebook account, snippets of a bill he plans to introduce to the Senate. The ‘Common Sense” Senator called the bill, the Right of Return Bill. He shared this,
“The #RightofReturnBill will attract African American and Euro African diaspora willing to make Nigeria the domicile for their investments.
“In the 80s and 90s, Nigerian lost her best human resources during the brain drain. My #RightofReturnBill will reverse that phenomenon”
The criticisms were fast and furious. One of the most liked were from K.D (initials are being used to protect privacy)
K.D – “Please Sen Ben Murray-Bruce, if there is anything you political leaders need to jointly fight for their establishment in Nigeria, its the right to “basic amenities” once 1. Electricity 2. Good tarred roads 3. Security of lives and properties 4. Good health care infrastructures and a few others are put in place, jobs will naturally get created and investors from all nooks and crannies of the world will find Nigeria suitable for investment.”
Another individual O.T. brought up the current security challenges as a deterrence to the effectiveness of such a bill.
O.T – “After having a moment of respite from the Boko Haram sect, the Fulani herdsmen came into limelight after them only God knows what is next? but i pray it will be the end security insurgencies in Nigeria. Who will be that coconut head Nigeria in diaspora that will come and invest in a country that’s with battling security issues? Wisdom demands that we solve our security problem and make our economy stable before inviting them.”
So to be even handed, while in the minority, the bill, even with the lack of details did find some support.
ONF- “Sir I encourage you to move on,nothing is impossible even me,I live in the states and I am looking for where to invest my money back home.
This is the best time to seize the opportunity and invest in Nigeria because things won’t be like this forever.”
The concept of brain drain and the detriment to Nigeria’ ability to compete on the world stage is no small matter.
I like Senator Ben Murray-Bruce and in large part, he appears to be the one Senator putting himself out there and willing to engage with people in the public concerning his ideas, plans and opinions. Unlike many Senators, you never get the sense that he’s just there to collect. So regardless of what your politics are or your feelings towards him, it is fair to say that Senator Murray-Bruce is willing to engage others especially through unforgiving media like Facebook and Twitter.
I applaud the Senator for trying to think outside the box to find solutions to that issue (brain drain that is). However, the current sentiment by this small sample of users is that priorities should be placed on the current hardship the average Nigerian in Nigeria faces.
Perhaps in a different world, we could tackle all these problems simultaneously. That is to say that we can fix our infrastructure while recruiting foreign investments and talents (something I would like to address at a later date).
But our government hasn’t been known to be able to handle multiple large scale endeavors at once so perhaps taking care of the basics should be the focus and organically other benefits will come with it. At least, that’s the general sentiment.
So, while the bill may be from a heart in the right place, there’s no doubt that many Nigerians outside of the so called social media sphere will also see it as at best poorly timed. Eventually, the details will be released and then we will know if it has any life or if will be returned to sender.
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