The Nigeria Diaspora Direct Investment Summit (NDDIS) has marked its 10th anniversary celebration with a special summit.
The summit was held on October 5, 2023, at Holiday Inn, Kensington, London in the United Kingdom.
Founded by Bimbo Roberts Folayan, the NDDIS was set up to encourage Nigerians in the diasporas to come on board in creating a vibrant economic engagement in Nigeria, by constituting credible businesses that would help enhance the financial resources of Nigeria.
It has over the years been impactful to people in the Diasporas and to Nigerians at home.
This year’s event held on the theme; ‘Renew Nigeria; The Nigerian Investment Challenge ’23, and was attended by Folasade Yemi-Esan, head of service of the Nigerian Civil Service; Okike Valentine, Commissioner for Special Duties, Ebonyi State, who represented Governor Francis Nwifuru, Governor Zulum of Borno State, represented by Nancy Brian Mbaya, Ambassador Ishola Sarafa, Nigeria High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Tim Morris, former British Ambassador and the Senior Trade Adviser on Africa in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Abdul-Ganiyu Obatoyinbo, administrator/CEO, Public Service Institute of Nigeria, as well as other directors generals and delegates from key government agencies in Nigeria.
Entrepreneurs and global companies comprising of real estate developers, healthcare experts, educationists, cyber security experts, financial services providers, and research professionals from the diaspora gave presentations, promoting their businesses and social responsibility endeavours, among them was Belinda Ikazoboh – VP Emerging Market Power of Shell Energy Europe; Dun Salami, chairman/CEO, Admiralty Homes Ltd, developers of Banana Island, Michael Situ, Mayor of Southwark, Peter Walker, vice president, British Nigeria Chambers of Commerce, and Katrina Prentice, co-founder/chairwoman of Zakhealth, to mention a few.
The speakers were very inspiring and had conversant knowledge of the services they provide and how they would help improve the standard of living of Nigerians. They also understood the essence of undertaking investment opportunities in Nigeria.
Ambassador Ishola Sarafa gave a speech in which he encouraged investors to invest in Nigeria and advised the diaspora to facilitate the economic incentive. He also clarified that the insecurities being broadcasted in the media happen mostly in remote areas, advising potential investors to ignore insecurity reports in the media but approach the Nigeria High Commission for direction and advice. He concluded that Nigeria is open for business. The Head of the Nigeria Civil Services added that to ensure that the civil service provides swift service to investors, they currently operate on a computerised system, which allows the investors to communicate with any department online, and guarantees that investors’ enquiries or applications will be received and dealt with online. She also advised that Investors should not go in blindly to invest but to approach government establishments to make their enquiries. Dabiri also highlighted the significance of approaching the Diaspora Commission to make enquiries.
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A panel session comprising Nigeria Health Professionals was held at the event. Among those present to discuss and highlight the problems and the bureaucracies that affect the health system in Nigeria, and indicate possible solutions that would enable an efficient and robust health sector in Nigeria were Senator Lanre Tejuoso, former chairman, Senate Committee on Health, the president of Nigeria Doctors in Diaspora in London – Chris Agbo MANSAG, Nnanna Igwe – former Ohanaeze chairman, and Pamela Ajayi of Health Care Federation of Nigeria.
Folayan expressed his appreciation by presenting awards to Folashade Yemi–Esan, Abike Dabiri and Lanre Tejuoso for the support they have demonstrated over the years to the organisation.
The Nigeria Diaspora Direct Investment Summit has been coordinating investment summits in the United Kingdom for 10 years and has helped facilitate and promote Nigeria as an investment hub for investors worldwide by presenting Nigeria as the appealing and promising economic epicentre of Africa. The summits have accomplished immense success that has created jobs and provided goods and services brought about by investors.