A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and member, National Economic Advisory Team, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has told Nigerians in the Diaspora that it is in their interest to contribute to the prosperity of their country.
According to him, it is wrong to regard investment in the homeland by Nigerians abroad as an act of charity.
Delivering the keynote address at the second Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday, the economist said racism and xenophobic attacks abroad had made it imperative for Nigerians in the Diaspora to have a prosperous country they could return to when the need arose.
He explained that the Jews learnt their lesson in a hard way during their persecution which culminated in the Holocaust.
To encourage Nigerians in the Diaspora to invest in the local economy, Soludo said the government must ensure the security of such investments, noting that the ease of doing business policy should be vigorously pursued.
Soludo said, “Diaspora synergy would be a decisive strategy for sustainable prosperity. In today’s world, a prosperous homeland is not just a choice, it is a duty.
“The diaspora is not just some group of people somewhere we are begging to come to Nigeria and do us a favour. My view is that the diaspora constitutes a strategic part of Nigeria and therefore, the development of Nigeria is not a choice, but a duty. But for this to happen, organisation is key.”
The NEAT member pointed out that that the diaspora remittance estimated at over $2.6bn would overtake crude oil earnings in the future.
Soludo lauded the Chairman of the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, saying her efforts were worthy of commendation.
Addressing the summit participants, acting Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, said the agency would mobilise Nigerians in the Diaspora to champion the recovery and repatriation of stolen assets back to the country.
He advised Nigerians abroad to invest in the country, noting that the anti-graft agency was working to rid the nation of corrupt elements.
A former Chairman of Diamond Bank, Mr Pascal Dozie, said Nigeria should go beyond focusing on remittances from the diaspora to harnessing their potential for national growth and development.