Experts have sought ways to ensure that Nigerians in Diaspora are well informed of opportunities available in the country, to increase remittances, direct investments and promotion of investments in the country.
This was the thrust at a dialogue organised recently by the UK Department for International Development (DFID’s), Policy Development Facility Phase Two, in collaboration with Dalberg with the theme, “Nigeria Diaspora Study: Opportunities for increasing the development impact of Nigeria’s Diaspora.”
Nigeria’s Diaspora, estimated at about 15 million people worldwide, play a crucial role in driving growth and progress in the country for which the government is currently drafting a National Policy on Diaspora Matters.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, represented by the Deputy Head, Industry, trade and Investment, Nigeria High Commission, London, Mrs. Folake Abdulrazaq, said the joint action clearly demonstrates the need to create an enabling environment that will catalyse the engagement of Nigerians in Diaspora in the investment market.
He said: “For decades, Diaspora remittances were largely unnoticed features of the global economy, they featured more as a cultural practice were people send money to their relatives in Nigeria.
“It is pertinent to note that Nigeria is the largest recipient of remittances in sub-Sahara Africa, and this could be as a result of our population size and generosity. Nigerians in Diaspora have a large stake in our economic growth; this could be supported by the figures provided by the CBN and World Bank, and explains why in recent times the Nigerian government policies are being directed at increasingly engaging the Nigerian in Diaspora.”
He noted that Diaspora entrepreneurship and investments are often hailed as drivers of economic development, and positive change in the world and Nigeria is no exception.