Nigerians in Diaspora, currently to the chart in Africa for contribution to National Development.
The Chairman National Diaspora commission ,Abike Dabiri-Erewa said this during the 2019 National Diaspora day celebration in Abuja.
The celebration which saw Nigerians in Diaspora from various countries converge, was a meeting point for brainstorming how Diasporians can give back to the country.
The Chairman acknowledged the increased contribution of Diasporians to the economy.
” it will be recalled that the first ever celebration of National Diaspora day took place in2006, while the second took place in 2008. And this has increased the high level of financial remittances from $ 10 billion in 2003 to over $25 billion to Nigeria alone in December 2018. The highest in Africa” .
Declaring the event open, the Secretary to the Government of the federation, Boss Mustapha said the revenue from diaspora represents “83% of Fed government budget and 6.1 % of the GDP”. He said the theme for this year’s diaspora day is “very apt as it captures the role of the diaspora as a potent force for national development, adding that it is a forum ” necessary to mobilise for appropriate action”
Some states in Nigeria, represented by the SSA’s to the Governor, spoke on the collaboration between the state and diaspora for growth and development.
Jermaine Sanwo-Olu ,Senior special assistant to the Lagos state Governor on diaspora matters urged the Diasporians to come to Lagos and invest .He restated Lagos state governments commitment to supporting progress and will welcome any Nigerian in Diaspora as well as partner with interested companies.His counterpart from Abia state lauded Nigerians in Diaspora for their contributions to the economy saying without them, the economy will crash.
The various NIDO presidents , unveiled the projects they would undertake to give back to the country.While NIDO Togo planned to build an international school, NIDO Asia said it would go into manganese mining as well as youth development.
Other projects earmarked by the NIDO included women development and ICT development.
They warned Nigerians hoping to travel out to ensure they use legitimate channels to do so, warning that the pictures being painted by some people to lure young people to dehumanizing slavery were false as the grass is not greener over there in most cases.
The Diasporians called on the government to create an enabling environment for youths to thrive here and attract Diasporians to invest back home.