Nigerians in Diaspora have been urged to as a point of duty, contribute to the prosperity of the Nation.
In his keynote address on Wednesday at the Aso Rock Villa Banquet Hall, during the opening ceremony of the 2019 Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit , the former governor of the central bank, Prof. Charles Soludo said it was wrong to regard Investment in the homeland as an act of charity.
In his paper, “Enabling the Diaspora as Drivers of Economic Growth and Development,” he admonished Nigerians outside the nation shores not to see the commitment to a prosperous Nigeria as a choice, but as a duty they owe themselves
He cited the incessant cases of racism and xenophobia as additional motive for Nigerians abroad to work towards a prosperous country they can return to if and when the need arises.
“A prosperous homeland for a Diasporan isn’t a choice, but a duty. They constitute the other Nigerian”.
“In the context of racism and Xenophobia, it is in the enlightened self-interest of those in Diaspora to show interest in the development of their homeland. Even the capital isn’t colour neutral. ”
He called on government to insist on two irreducible minimum standards: safety and returns on investment to encourage Nigerians in Diaspora to invest in the country as investment ,he said is different from charity. He also called on the political elite to open up the political space to enable such returnees to participate.
He stressed the fact that government, must ensure security of such Investments.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the occasion, Paschal Dozie,urged the Federal government to articulate areas of investment that returnees could invest in like hospitality and tourism saying ” Nigeria needs to be ready to connect and engage them for long term beneficial returns”.
On his part, Chairman ,Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ,EFCC, Ibrahim Magu said his Commission has taken several proactive measures to make sure that Nigeria is a safe haven for genuine investors both for expatriate and its nationals outside the country.
“Our crusade is to encourage FDI both local and abroad. It is to encourage our brothers abroad.
“We are working at the ECOWAS level to adopt a protocol to enable us to repatriate those who perpetrate Advanced Fee Fraud. I want to assure Nigerians in Diaspora that we will do everything to protect your investment. Bankers here are defrauding beneficiaries when Nigerians abroad send money. We are working with banks to ensure that Nigerians abroad will not be apprehensive to send money home. We have had instances when people send money through Money Transfer and the receiver here is shortchanged.”
The Chairman /Chief Executive Officer of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri, thanked the participants for associating with the vision of her Commission and gave assurances of her commitment to the welfare of Diasporians.