Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), has commended Nigerians in the Diaspora on the rise of remittances in the first quarter of the year, by 20.3 per cent, representing the seventh consecutive quarterly increase in diaspora remittances since last quarter in 2020.
In a statement by the Commission’s Head of Media and Public Relations, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Dabiri-Erewa said that increase in remittances by Nigerians abroad, which has played a significant role in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), has a great impact on socio-economic growth of the country.
She said, “As the world recovers from the global pandemic and confronts instability of many kinds, we want to honour the efforts of all those who continue to support their loved ones despite the challenging circumstances.”
According to the NIDCOM boss, the recent figures released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed an increase in remittances in quarter one of 2022 to $5.16 billion from $ 4.29 billion same period in 2021.
Also, the ‘Naira 4 Dollar Scheme’ created by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2021, attracted $2.4 billion in diaspora remittances within eight months, surpassing the figure reported in 2021.
She said NiDCOM would continue to push for more engagement with Nigerians in the diaspora who are an indisputable economic factor and are becoming an investment factor in the country, noting that many Nigerians abroad are investing in agriculture, real estate, health, education and ICT, amongst others.
Dabiri-Erewa implored all stakeholders to continue the engagement for Diaspora Voting with the National Assembly to amend relevant sections of the law to enable INEC to do the needful.
She assured Nigerians abroad that details of Nigerians Diaspora Investment Trust Fund (NDITF) would soon be unveiled as a platform for structured diaspora investments, just as Diaspora mortgage and housing facilities are some of the programmes being introduced by NIDCOM for the welfare of the citizens abroad.
Similarly, 33 states now have State Diaspora Focal Point Officers with Abia setting up Abia Diaspora Agency, while Edo and Enugu are almost set with their own agencies just as Ondo and Anambra states have Commissioners.
She also described the Diasporans as a valuable asset worth more than the billions of naira they sent home as remittances as they are contributing immensely to national development through training and capacity development.
Stressing that no nation could develop without its diaspora, she emphasised the need for Nigerians at home and in diaspora to work together.
It is expected that by the end of the 2022 financial year, the remittances from Nigerians in the Diaspora from official sources would have increased from its current $22 billion to about $25 billion.