NIGERIANS living abroad are believed to have remitted a total of $25bn back to the country during the course of 2019 according to figures just released by the Nigeria Diaspora Commission chairperson Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Traditionally, Nigerian has been one of the countries with the highest amounts of remittances worldwide and figures compiled so far indicate that 2019 was a bumper year. Hon Dabiri-Erewa, said that although $25bn has been remitted, there are some areas that have not been captured, indicating that the actual value of remittance is higher.
Speaking on the welfare of Nigerians who returned from South Africa due to the xenophobic attacks in that country, Hon Dabiri-Erewa urged state governments who are yet to reach out to their indigenes among them to do so. She added that reaching out to them is not difficult as they are not many, pointing out the commission plans to meet with many of the returnees later this month.
She further stressed the importance of Nigerians in diaspora, stating that the commission will always engage with Nigerians wherever they are and follow the president’s instruction to ensure that no one is taken for granted or neglected. In 2019, the commission organised a Nigeria in Diaspora Investment Summit and now plans to launch a Nigerian in Diaspora Trust Fund.
Hon Dabiri-Erewa said the commission believes that this is important because Nigerians in diaspora want to invest in their country and Nigerians would find the trust fund useful. Also, she added that the commission would establish a diaspora database which will reveal the exact number of Nigerians who live abroad.
She also urged the National Assembly to look into diaspora voting, saying Nigerians remit so much to the country and contribute so much to the economy. Hon Dabiri-Erewa added that it is only fair that such Nigerians be given a say in the way the country is run.
“The National Assembly needs to amend relevant laws to make it possible for Nigerians in diaspora to vote. Diaspora matters will be put on the front burner moving forward,” Hon Dabiri-Erewa added.