• Sunday, June 16, 2024
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$20bn diaspora remittances 4 times FDI investments in 2021- Buhari

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The $20 billion diaspora remittances to Nigeria in 2021, represent four times the foreign direct investment (FDI), into the country, under the same period.

This was revealed by President Muhammadu Buhari, while speaking at the Townhall meeting with diaspora Nigerians, Saturday, on the sidelines of the ongoing UNGA meeting in New York. Buhari also applauded their investments in various sectors of the Nigerian economy such as healthcare, agriculture, education, information and communication technology (ICT), housing and real estate, transportation, oil, and gas.

He said it was gratifying that many Nigerians in the USA have continued to excel in their careers, with some of them appointed into the cabinet of President Joe Biden.

In a statement by Femi Adesina, the president commended the diasporan Nigerians on their successes and urged them to demonstrate the highest sense of responsibility in order that they continue to remain a reference point of excellence as they serve humanity and the country.

“As always, I wish to emphasise the absolute necessity for each and every one of you to continue to remain law-abiding as you live in the United States of America. I also urge you to comport yourselves in such exemplary manners that should earn you the privilege of reference as good ambassadors of Nigeria.

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“In order to earn yourselves collective self-respect within the communities you live in, you must live with one another peacefully and continue to do so without sub-divisions amongst yourselves. As you may know, as a people, we shall always be stronger together.”

The president said the administration created the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission to serve as a bridge between them and the country in the developmental agenda with the expectation that they will give back to the country:

“As our diaspora ambassadors, we expect your willingness to give back to Nigeria some of your resources, talents, skills, and global exposure in the development of our great country, Nigeria.”

He gave the assurances that the government will continue to act in their interests whenever the need arises, citing recent evacuations in Libya, South Africa, and recently Ukraine. He added that he had also approved the same in UAE and India.

The president lauded Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chair of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, who coordinated the event, for her innovative programmes to bring the ambassadors closer home such as Diaspora Registration Portal, the Diaspora Mortgage Scheme and the Nigerian Diaspora Investment Trust (NDIT).

President Buhari reiterated the administration’s commitment to free, fair, and transparent elections in 2023 as the only way Nigeria can continue to “set the right example for the rest of Africa and hopefully stop the recourse to unconstitutional changes of Governments in our sub-region and the rest of the African continent.”

At the meeting, we’re a select group who represented Nigerians in the US, including, Bobby Olisa, an American-born Nigerian, current president of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, New York, who co-owns an international restaurant and a medical clinic in his community.