FORMER Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor and National Economic Advisory Team member Professor Chukwuma Soludo has pressed the government to encourage diasporans to invest more at home in a bid to stimulate the economy.
Speaking in Abuja yesterday while delivering the keynote address at the second Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit, Professor Soludo told diasporans that it is in their interest to contribute to the prosperity of the country. He argued that it is wrong to regard investment in the homeland as an act of charity.
According to Professor Soludo, racism and xenophobic attacks abroad have made it imperative for Nigerians in the diaspora to have a prosperous country they could return to when the need arose. He recalled that the Jews learnt their lesson the hard way during their persecution which culminated in the Holocaust.
However, Professor Soludo urged the government to ensure the security of such diaspora investments, noting that the ease of doing business policy should be vigorously pursued. He added that diaspora remittances would overtake crude oil earnings in the future.
Professor Soludo said: “Diaspora synergy would be a decisive strategy for sustainable prosperity. In today’s world, a prosperous homeland is not just a choice, it is a duty.
“The diaspora is not just some group of people somewhere we are begging to come to Nigeria and do us a favour. My view is that the diaspora constitutes a strategic part of Nigeria and therefore, the development of Nigeria is not a choice but a duty but for this to happen, organisation is key.”
He lauded the chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, saying her efforts were worthy of commendation. Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said the agency would mobilise Nigerians in the diaspora to champion the recovery and repatriation of stolen assets back to the country.