Okonjo-Iweala, NASS Team To Engage Diaspora On Economic Development
In response to the long-standing desire of the Nigerian diaspora to
support economic development in the country, a high level
Executive-Legislative team is currently holding a series of interactive
sessions with Nigerians in Europe and the United States. The sessions are
organized by the Debt Management Office, led by its Director-General, Dr.
The delegation is headed by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and
Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and includes key members of
relevant committees in the National Assembly. The members of the National
Assembly are: Senator Ahmed Makarfi Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance,
Senator E. Uzamere, Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign
Debts, Senator Ita Enang, Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriation,
Honourable Adeyinka Ajayi, Chairman, House Committee on Aid, Loans and
Debt Management, Honourable Famurewa Ajibola Israel, House Committee on
Diaspora, Honourable Abdulrahman Terab, House Committee on Finance and
Honourable Emmanuel David Ombugadu, House Committee on Appropriation.
It will be recalled that Nigerians in the Diaspora have been seeking ways
and means to contribute more to the country's development. This interest
is backed by substantial capacity: the value of remittances from Nigerians
abroad in 2013 was $20.77 billion; for the first half of 2014 it is $10.40
billion. This includes contributions through remittances to their
families, friends and communities, medical missions and provision of
Indeed, the experience of countries such as Israel and India shows that
the Diaspora are a force to be reckoned with in the growth and development
of any country, through the funding of critical development projects,
among other means. The current effort is directed at providing the
Nigerian Diaspora similar opportunities.
The Meetings which started yesterday in London, will continue in New York,
Washington DC and Houston between September 2-4, 2014. The London meeting
hosted by the Nigerian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, H.E. Dr. Dalhatu
Sarki Tafida, was attended by over 140 invited Nigerian professionals.
The meeting provided an avenue for the CME and the other members of the
team to update Nigerians in the Diaspora on the developments in the
Nigerian economy, the major achievements of the Transformation Agenda
under the Administration of His Excellency, President Goodluck E. Jonathan
and the opportunities available in Nigeria for Diaspora Nigerians.
Nigerians were also reassured of the developments in Nigeria with respect
to the Ebola Virus Disease and the Government's management of the
situation. Participants expressed concern about the security situation
and urged the government to do more particularly with respect to the
return of the Chibok girls. Participants also showed a lot of interest in
contributing to development with investments in infrastructure, SMEs and
in the housing sector.
It is expected that through these Sessions, Nigerians in Diaspora will be
better informed about developments in the country and be encouraged to
contribute in various ways to the development of the economy and
nation-building in general.
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