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Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Executive Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission / Photo: ADET

Nigeria looking up to its Diaspora for post-Covid recovery – Abike Dabiri-Erewa

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) has expressed optimism that the Nigerians in Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS), which began on Friday, would be a platform for diaspora investors, partners, collaborators to interact with government agencies, in a direct round table, for mutual benefit.

NiDCOM’s CEO/Chairman, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said this at the opening ceremony of the third edition of NDIS, holding from 20 to 22 November, with the theme: Post-COVID-19 Economic Resurgence, Targeting Diaspora Investment.

According to her, the event would focus on creating an avenue for prospective, meaningful and sustainable diaspora investment to be leveraged to boost Nigeria’s economic growth, stressing that the Summit was expected to attract diaspora investors in Healthcare, Education, Agribusiness, Creatives, Sports and Entertainment, Telecom, ICT/Fintech and Manufacturing, among others.

“The aim of the Summit is to establish a platform where diaspora investors can interact with potential sponsors, partners, collaborators and government agencies with a direct round table for our mutual benefit.

“When we started the Summit three years ago, in the first year we had 300 people participating, so also in the second year we had 700 and now we have over a thousand people participating,” she said.

Abike Dabiri added: “This is going to be a high-breed event and thousands of Nigerians all over the world will continue to participate at this Summit.

“We are happy that in the middle of the COVID-19 we have recorded good news, as just this week, eight Nigerians got drafted into the NBA and Dr Okoja was inducted into the NASA Hall of Fame, all these are success stories from around the world about Nigerians doing well”.

The eight basketballers with Nigerian roots, who were drafted into the NBA in one night, are: Issac Okoro (Cleveland), Onyeka Okongwu (Atlanta), Precious Achiuwa (Miami), Zeke Nnaji (Denver), Udoka Azubuike (Utah), Desmond Bane (Boston), Daniel Oturu (Minnesota), and Jordan Nwora (Milwaukee).

The annual NBA Draft is an event where 60 talented hopefuls from college basketball and international leagues are drafted into the NBA.

Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerians to continue celebrating themselves in all that they do, saying that Nigerians would heal from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected business across the country.

“We should not let the challenges pull us back, but believe we are going to where we truly belong — at the top of the mountain,” she added.

Speaking earlier, Dr Badewa Adejugbe-Williams, the Director of NDIS, said the 2020 event was held virtually because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

She added that investors and stakeholders would benefit immensely from strengthening their investment profile, expanding their business networks and showcasing global best practices at the Summit.

Also, it would provide an opportunity to meet key decision-makers and industry influencers, brand exposure and many more that would help in contributing to national development.

“The creation of State Diaspora Focal Officers and offices is meant to decentralize access for the diaspora and link them directly with their home states. This, I must tell you, is yielding results as some states are providing land for diasporans to come and invest and own property,” she revealed.

Abeeb Alawiye

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