President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has said that his government will provide an enabling platform for effective policies to harness the potential of the Nigerians in the Diaspora with the view to galvanising them for economic development of the country.
The President said this in his remarks during events to celebrate this year’s National Diaspora Day which commenced in Abuja yesterday with the theme “Consolidating Diaspora Engagement for National Development”, organised by the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and its partners.
Represented by his chief of staff, Femi Gbajabiamilla, President Tinubu noted that the 17 million Nigerians in the Diaspora have contributed immensely to Nigeria’s development by their resources, talents, skills and global exposure, adding that In 2022, Diaspora home remittances through official channels stood at $21.9 billion, over four times the value of our Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
He said “It is also gratifying to note that we have annually on July 25th celebrated the achievements of our Diaspora, many of whom are our Ambassadors uplifting the image of Nigeria in their host countries, excelling globally and contributing immensely to Nigeria’s development by their resources, talents, skills and global exposure.
The National Diaspora Day Celebrations prescribed by the National Diaspora Policy is set aside to recognise, acknowledge and celebrate the over 17 million Nigerians in the Diaspora who have contributed immensely to national development. The National Diaspora Policy 2021 prescribes July 25th annually.
In her address, the chairman/CEO of the NIDCOM, Dr. Abike Dabiri-Erewa said that the efforts of the Nigerians in the Diaspora will make tremendous impacts on capacity and infrastructural developments when properly deployed.
“Diaspora resources often create positive measurable ripple effects that could mitigate unemployment, leading to the improvement in the quality of life and reduction in poverty,” she said.
She noted that the theme is not only appropriate but a summary of the entire mandate of NiDCOM which is to engage and harness the talent, skills, resources and global exposure of Nigerians in the Diaspora for national development.
“Our interactions with the Diaspora community during this year’s National Diaspora Day celebrations therefore are expected to mobilise the Diaspora to key into some of the programmes of the government and to chart improved and better ways on how to achieve the positive results for national development within the “Renewed Hope Agenda” of the government,” she added
She reeled out some major NiDCOM’s Programmes which include: National Diaspora Day: 25th July every year, which has been set aside for this annual event. She also mentioned the DIASPORA MERIT AWARD, aimed at recognizing and celebrating our over 17 million Nigerians in the Diaspora.
The commission also has the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit: A private sector initiative, aimed at harnessing investment opportunities in the Diaspora for national development; The Badagry Door of Return Festival to commemorate the end of the slave trade era and the significance of the ancient city during the period and the State Diaspora Focal Point Officer’s Summit aimed at domesticating the activities of NiDCOM at the state level.
Others are Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Investment Forum aimed at showcasing investment opportunities that are available in the Republic of Saudi Arabia and Interventions in the Rescue of Nigerians Stranded Abroad as a collaborative effort with other stakeholders.
Permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affair, Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, in his speech applauded the Nigerians in the Diaspora for their diverse contributions which have made positive impacts especially in the remittances. He added that the Nigerians in the Diaspora are worthy ambassadors who have excelled in their host countries and globally.
This year’s event drew a large number of government Ministries, Department and Agencies, private sector firms, and international organisations such as International Organisation for Migration (IOM).