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Okonjo-Iweala, NASS Team To Engage Diaspora On Economic Development

Source: pointblanknews.com
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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.

Abraham Nwankwo.
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

scholarships.
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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