Nigerians abroad remit over $25 billion – Hon Abike-Dabiri

Adeze Ojukwu

Chairman of Nigeria Diaspora Commission(NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has reiterated the need to harness the huge potentials of citizens in foreign countries, saying “Diaspora Direct Investment(DDI) into the country, accounts for over $25 billion.”

‘Foreign Direct Investment inflow estimated at about $25 billion boosted the economy after the nation exited recession in 2018.’

Out of this figure, ‘Nigerians in Diaspora, accounted for the biggest net contribution to the FDI.’

The NiDCOM boss stated this recently, during  a webinar, organised by the United States Government Exchanges Alumni Association(USGEAA).

Abike-Dabiri, who was the guest speaker at the fifth leadership series, spoke on “Partnering With Nigerians Diaspora in Social Transformation Endeavours: Prospects and Opportunities”

 According to Dabiri-Erewa also a US Government Exchange alumnus, said NiDCOM was established, two years ago to promote human capital development, saying “there are approximately 14 million Nigerians in the Diaspora.”

The commission, she noted  “is currently researching on various fields of expertise of foreign-based Nigerians, as part of efforts to enhance prospects and potentials for more partnerships.’

“NiDCOM is working towards connectivity and collaborations with diasporans, thus the celebration of Nigerians, who are excelling in various fields, across the world.”

The agency, she stressed, “intends tapping into brain circulation. Programmes are currently being designed for the second and third generation Nigerians in the diaspora to engage the home country.”

“As Nigerians, we all have to be good ambassadors of our country. I am delighted that some foreign-based doctors are coming together, as a group to see how they can change the health sector in Nigeria.”

“Diaspora voting is currently being considered at the National Assembly and she is hoping that it is passed into law with the constitution amendment,” she noted.

“NiDCOM organises an annual Diaspora Investment Summit, and since its inception,  nationals have been investing in agriculture, health care, food business and more.”

She underscored the importance of establishing strong synergies among Nigerians abroad and at home, in order to actualize the  development goals of the country.

The NiDCOM boss urged Nigerians to shun crime and vices, capable of tarnishing the image of the country abroad.

Earlier in his welcome remarks,  the president of the USGEAA Lagos chapter, Dr Jude Ememe, said that the discourse was a veritable platform for Nigerians in diaspora, to collaborate with alumni members, in order to boost the laudable social and economic initiatives and projects, executed by USGEAA members across society.

 USGEAA Secretary General, Tinuola Aina said  the webinar was attended by representatives of the US Consulate, USGEAA members and non members, even as numerous participants joined in from other African countries.

Aina said “USGEAA is an umbrella association that brings together over 20 Exchange programs sponsored by the United States Government. Members of the USGEAA are Fellows that are privileged to have undergone fully-sponsored professional development programmes in the United States, Ghana among other.”

“Upon completion of the programmes, members return to Nigeria to engage knowledge gained to contribute to social transformation by undertaking social programmes. The exchange programmes include; The International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP); Fulbright Junior Scholar Development; Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Program, Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant, Fulbright Science and Technology, Mandela Washington Fellowship and Techwomen

Others are  “Fortune 500 Women, Study of US Institutes, Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Young African Leadership Innovations in Science and Technology, Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Global Sports Mentoring Program, IOWA International Writers, One Beat, Pan-African Youth Leadership, Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program(TEA).’

The high-profile event, which was compered by the association’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Mike Okwoche, was adjudged highly successful by the participants.

‘The programme and the various sessions were quite engaging and enlightening,” a New York-based lawyer, Mr. Emeka Igboeli said.

Ojukwu is a multiple award-winning journalist, editor and Fellow of Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship.

She wrote and published this treatise on www.devcomradar.org and other media channels, as part of her ongoing self-funded projects, to promote the urgency for academic scholarship, educational reforms and professional best practices in Nigeria.

The growing clamour for educational revolution, is crucial for the successful implementation of the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) in Nigeria and other vulnerable countries.

Ojukwu welcomes strategic partnerships and recommendations for the successful execution of these laudable transformational media initiatives.

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