Breaking News
Translate

Diaspora remittances hit $25b per annum ― Buhari

Kindly Share This Story:

—We’re working with NASS over Diaspora voting – Dabiri-Erewa

Diaspora remittances hit $25b per annum ― Buhari

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

President Muhammadu Buhari, Saturday said that Nigerian Diaspora remittances exceeded $25 billion annually in three years.

The President also appealed to citizens abroad not to abandon their fatherland in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, but to actively participate in the country’s Post-coronavirus economic recovery efforts.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina in a statement he issued said that President Buhari made the disclosure in a video message to commemorate this year’s Diaspora Day, which is observed every July 25.

The statement quoted the President as saying: ”Over the past three years, Nigerians in the diaspora have brought in over $25 billion annually as home remittances to the Nigerian economy through official and non-formal channels.

”This is about 6.0% of our annual GDP and upwards of 80% of our annual budget. This has impacted on livelihoods of Nigerians in terms of education, health, housing and estate development, industry, trade and investments, agriculture and technology/skills transfer.

”In terms of diaspora home remittances, Nigeria is rated as number one in sub-Saharan Africa and this is still growing especially with the advocacy and mobilization programmes of the newly established Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM).

READ ALSO: President Buhari’s visit to Mali vista for peace – Minister

”Nigerians in Diaspora are also known to be engaged in skill transfer in ICT and industry. They are also active in our universities as lecturers, and in carrying out medical missions.

”It is, therefore, my sincere hope that even with the depressed economy under stress in the year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerians in the Diaspora will rise up to the occasion of not abandoning their country of origin, but be active in our Post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts.”

President Buhari told participants from Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania at the webinar event that his three-point agenda for the Nigerians in Diaspora remains the same and particularly relevant on the auspicious occasion.

Reiterating the agenda, President Buhari further said: ”You are our Ambassadors-at-large by your behaviour and character in your host countries.

”Whatever legitimate endeavour you choose, you must excel and be the best.

”Do not forget home, Nigeria, by giving back and engaging in its development.”

President Buhari commended the support and contributions of Nigerians in the Diaspora to the socio-economic development of Nigeria, recounting fond memories of his several interactions with them at town hall meetings.

While congratulating them on this year’s celebration, he said the Federal Government set aside July 25 of every year to celebrate Nigerians in Diaspora estimated to be over 17 million.

He said, “the Day is also to facilitate networking among the Diaspora with the Ministries, Departments and Agencies, the Government, the Diaspora State Focal Point Officers and other private and Civil Society Organization participants in the implementation of a practical framework for the effective engagement of the Diaspora for national development.”

Speaking on the theme of this year’s celebration,“Leveraging Diaspora Resources for National Development in a COVID-19 Era”, the Chairman/CEO of NiDCOM, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa said that the Commission is working with the National Assembly to make Diaspora voting a reality.

She affirmed that the focus of the 2020 celebration is indicative of the mandate of NiDCOM as well as what the agency has accomplished since its creation.

“Since its establishment a year ago, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission has a lot to celebrate. This is because the passion and consistency that saw to the establishment of the commission have been maintained and sustained.

“The activities we have executed, those ongoing, and the ones that are yet to take off are all definitive, of the theme. Our interaction today is expected to mobilize you to key into some of the programmes and chart improved or better ways on how to achieve them,” she said.

READ ALSO: National Diaspora Day: Ecobank offers zero fees on Rapidtransfer

Among other initiatives, she said NiDCOM is partnering with the OPS WASH – the umbrella body for private engagement to support the declaration to end open defecation in Nigeria by 2024.

“We plan to mobilize millions of Nigerians in the Diaspora to fund a toilet per household. A global project will soon be launched and we look forward to all Nigerians in the Diaspora to participate in this most needed project,” she said.

In his remarks, the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada said the Ministry would continue to stress the importance of engaging with Nigerians in the Diaspora at the state, national and international levels in advocating the Diaspora potentials in the post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts.

The Minister thanked members of the Diaspora who have donated to the COVID-19 response, especially those that were channelled to the grassroots through the states.

Vanguard News Nigeria

Kindly Share This Story:
All rights reserved. This material and any other digital content on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from VANGUARD NEWS.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!