Diaspora Day: SGF calls for unity amongst Nigerians abroad

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr.  Boss Mustapha, has called for unity among Nigerians in Diaspora.

Boss spoke at the opening of the ongoing National Diaspora Day, 2019 in Abuja.

July 25th of every year has been set aside by the Federal Government in recognition of the contributions of Nigerians in Diaspora to national development and to celebrate Diasporans who have achieved feats in various fields of endeavour.

The theme of the celebration is “The power of the Nigerian Diaspora for National Development”. The celebration was put together by the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) and Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa (DTCA).

While encouraging the Diasporans to be patriotic and good ambassadors of Nigeria to the world, the SGF  urged them to be united as the country’s strength lies in its diversity.

“I would not end my remarks without saying a word on the urgent need for unity among diaspora leaders and membership at large. Nigeria is a diverse country. It is multi-cultural, multi-religious and a very plural society. Our strength lies in the unity of our diversity. United we stand, divided we fall is a popular adage in Nigeria. Our diaspora population should, therefore, unite and engage with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission with view to accelerating the development of Nigeria,” he said.

Speaking on the celebration, he said: “This theme is very apt as it captures the role of the Diaspora as a potent force for national development. It is estimated by the World Bank that over $25 billion was remitted to Nigeria by our diaspora population in the year 2018. This represents over 83% of the Federal Government budget and 6.1% of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP). These monies are currently utilized as social security funds to families (school fees, feeding allowance, hospital bills and so on). Some of it is invested in housing and estate development, hospital projects, schools and commercial enterprises, but not properly documented and analysed for impact.”

He, therefore, added that “there is an urgent need, therefore, to galvanize this into an investable fund for development.  A forum like this is necessary to articulate a position on this and mobilize for appropriate action.”

He said that Nigerians in Diaspora being at the cutting edge of technology and appropriately exposed at the International business community level are the right connectors to propel this initiative”

He, therefore, urged them to key into the government economic recovery programme, while reassuring them that the government will protect every Nigerian anywhere in the world as a responsible and caring government with all it takes.

In her opening remark, the Chairman of NiDCOM, Mrs. A bike Dabiri-Erewa, noted that the importance of the Diaspora in national development cannot be overemphasised.

“It is the importance of linkages created between Nigerians in the Diaspora on the one hand and the needs for growing the development of Nigeria back home that prompted the translation of the conception of Nigerians in Diaspora into action in 1999,” she added.

She also revealed that there had been an increase in financial remittance from Diasporans, from $10 billion in 2003 to over $25 billion by December 18.

“ The highest in Africa with over 25 per cent remittances to Africa coming to Nigeria. This shows that President Muhammadu Buhari has taken issue of Nigerians in the Diaspora more seriously than previous Presidents had taken them,” she stressed.

She also urged Nigerians in Diaspora to “constantly remember the sons of whom they are. They are to always remember the economic survival of their relations back home, and particularly, that East or West, home is home. It is from this perspective that any discussion of the Nigerian Diaspora is important in many ways.”

NiDCOM, Erewa also said “had intervened in many areas of human endeavour to ease the task of our Diasporans and ready to do more within the ambit of the mandate establishing it.”

Curled From: https://thenationonlineng.net/diaspora-day-sgf-calls-for-unity-amongst-nigerians-abroad/