Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Babachir Lawal said, yesterday, in Abuja that Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) remitted $21 billion to the economy in 2015.
Lawal who spoke at a news briefing on the 2016 Diaspora Day Conference slated to hold from July 24 to 26 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, said that the conference, an annual event, provided Nigerians in the Diaspora the platform to interact with the Federal Government and state authorities, to address challenges confronting the country. He noted that NIDO branches were virtually in all the major countries of the world and particularly strong in Brazil, Germany, UK, U.S. and Singapore.
Lawal said that the 2016 Diaspora Day Conference would be different from past ones during which participants came home to highlight the challenges confronting the country.
“The government and citizens of Nigeria at home are not ignorant of our challenges as a nation; what our nation requires are solutions to specific problems. This year’s conference will focus on obtaining firm commitments from Nigerians in the Diaspora directed at solving some of our national challenges.”
He pledged the commitment of the Federal Government to partner with members of NIDO to assist Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), improve healthcare delivery as well as youth empowerment and employment generation.
“We have received commitment from Nigerians in line with the new thinking and we intend to obtain more during the conference.” The SGF said that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would, on July 25, declare the conference open, adding that the Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs would make presentations at the event.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the SGF was represented by Amb. Olukunle Bamgbose, a Permanent Secretary in his office. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo established NIDO as an umbrella organisation to represent the interests of Nigerian professionals overseas.