The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commision Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa has said that a Country with an estimated demography of about 17 million Nigerians living outside the sovereign boundaries of Nigeria, sending home remittances of about 25 billion US dollars annually, it becomes obvious that this segment of Nigerians deserve recognition and celebration and should not be ignored.
This was contained in the text of a press conference held in Abuja on Thursday ahead of the National Diaspora Day 2021 with the theme: “DIASPORA INTEGRATION FOR NATIONAL PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT”.
The idea, she said, is to anchor on the levers of peace to accelerate Diaspora engagement for national growth and development as no nation succeeds in an atmosphere anchored on insecurity as well as hatred and divisive tendencies.
She noted that these home remittances are over 83 per cent of the National budget and 6.1 per cent of the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“According to The World Bank and Price Waterhouse Coopers(PWC), these home remittances serve as economic buffers and safety nets to families for: school fees, feeding, hospital bills and many other social support systems.
“Thirty Percent of the remittances are channeled into investments including real estate, commercial businesses and others.
“Nigerians in the Diaspora should be celebrated, as a fact that many are top level professionals in cutting edge technologies, medicine, engineering, energy, sports, entertainment, media, law, logistics and services, among others,” she said.
Hon Abike said that the achievers have helped to profile Nigeria positively and have been celebrated globally by their countries of sojourn.
It also provides a platform for networking, re-union and stock-taking. It serves as an opportunity for the government to engage Nigerians more constructively- be it at macro-economic level or in the organised private sector for meaningful national impact and development.