A United States of America based healthcare expert and a leading member of the League of Nigerians In Diaspora, LNID, Chief Shegun Olagundoye, has urged investors and professionals in diaspora to return home to invest in the large potentials that abound in the nation’s medical tourism and other sectors of the economy.
“With the current favourable investment environment, if our compatriots heed this call, Nigerians in Diaspora can turn the country to a global medical tourism centre within the next seven to 10 years. We can also replicate what Indians in diaspora did in India in Nigeria if Nigerian investors here collectively resolve to put an end to Nigerians endless exodus to other countries in search of medical succour.”
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Chief Olagundoye, in a chat with some Nigerian journalists, noted that with the steady rise in the nation’s economic fortunes, continuous stable political climate, even after the just concluded national elections and improvement in infrastructure, Nigerians in diaspora, now have little to fear or worry about regarding investing in Nigeria.
He said: “Nigeria is a huge market, the biggest in Africa, the biggest concentration of the black people in the world, the uncertainty in the socio-political and economic climate that once made Nigeria a no-go area is today almost a forgotten past. With Nigeria joining other civilized countries to enthrone democracy and an economy on the rise, we need to take advantage of the huge market that is Nigeria; we need to build world class health facilities, we need to make Nigeria where to go to for Africans in search of quality health care. Now is the time.”
Statistics show that there are hundreds of thousands of Nigerian Americans in different cities, professions and callings in the United States of America. According to the Migration Policy Institute, 29 percent of Nigerian Americans over the age of 25 hold a graduate degree, compared to 11 percent of the overall US population.
The 2016 American Community Survey found that among Nigerian American professionals, 45 percent work in education services, and many of them are professors in top American universities. The survey also showed that a growing number of Nigerian-Americans are becoming entrepreneurs and CEOs, building companies in the US, and making contributions to the local economy back home.
In 2017, the total amount remitted back to Nigeria by Nigerians In Diaspora, stood at $22billion, a figure that is $2billion higher than the $20billion Nigerian national budget of the same year. In 2018, the amount remitted home stood at $25billion, $1billion higher than the $24billion national budget of that year.
Olagundoye also said: “Although these are huge sums, but we can do far better than this. Don’t forget that the bulk of these sums are funds sent to relations, to pay school fees, health bills etc. The sum to be invested home can double or triple these figures when Nigerians In Diaspora key-in to investing at home.
“When we heed the call to invest at home, particularly in the health sector, there will be massive inflow of investible funds to put right facilities in place. This will create conducive working environment which will encourage massive return of experts who are currently abroad in search of greener pasture.”