Nigerians across the globe have converged on Abuja, Nigeria’s capital for the second edition of the Nigerians in Diaspora Investment Summit.
The Summit with the theme ‘Leveraging Diaspora Resources for Economic Growth’, commenced with a call on the government to channel its strength towards investing in human capacity and creating an enabling environment for the diasporas to invest in, for economic development.
The Chairman, Nigeria in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the Summit became necessary given the fact that Nigerians in the diaspora make up the best in the world.
“In America alone, we have six thousands Nigerian doctors not to talk of other medical personnel. So it’s important to invite Nigerians in diaspora home to see where they can invest in Nigeria,” She explained.
In a message, Mr Pascal Dozie, said although remittances from the diaspora have contributed immensely to the growth of the nation’s GDP, there’s need for the government to ensure that the environment is friendly for both monetary and human investment.
“We need to move from the euphoria of Diaspora monetary inputs and challenge ourselves to fully understand the structure of the Nigerian diaspora, what they can effectively contribute and how we can utilise these contributions for development” he suggested.
Presenting his paper entitled ‘ Enabling Diasporas as Drivers of Economic Growth and Development, Nigeria’s former Central Bank Governor, Professor Charles Soludo said creating a synergy between Nigerians in the diaspora and their home land was key to having a prosperous economy.
According to him, Nigerians in the diaspora must at all cost maintain their identity and not be carried away by the ‘bleaching of identity syndrome’ especially through the change of their names from native to trying to fit into the foreign culture.
Professor Soludo emphasised that diaspora contribution to the development of the nation is not an option, it’s a duty.
“The greatest contributions of the Nigerians in diaspora to the nation’s transformation will be it’s participation in the public discourse and governance,” Professor Soludo who is also a member of the Economic Advisory Council said.
The Acting Chairman of Nigeria’s Antigraft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu said fighting corruption was the collective responsibility of every Nigerian.
He however said that the Commission was working with the Central Bank of Nigeria to ensure financial fraud in the banking sector especially foreign transactions end.
“I want to assure every Nigerian in the diaspora that we will do anything possible to protect your investments,” Mr Magu said.
The conference had in attendance dignitaries from the public and private sectors both within and outside Nigeria.