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$500m bond: How Nigerians in Diaspora will benefit,  Hon Akinlaja

Source: pointblanknews.com
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A member representing Ondo East/West Federal Constituency, Ondo State at the House of Reps, Hon Joseph Akinlaja, has outlined the opportunities available for Nigerians in Diaspora and the need for them to return home to invest.

He assured that the Federal Government will soon redeem its $500 million promise to release the Diaspora Bond.

Akinlaja, who represented Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairperson, Housea Committee on Diaspora Affairs, made this known in United Nations Headquarters, New York, at a  two-day Corporate Nigeria Stakeholders' and Investors Forum sponsored by Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State.

“According to the World Bank, Nigeria is one of the world's fastest growing emerging economies. No one needs to tell you what this means – a billion investment opportunities lie in various sectors, with a lot of these sectors largely untapped – agriculture, information technology, medicine, mining, textiles, electricity, energy- the list goes on.

To be more empirical, there is an organisation called the Nigerians in Diaspora Alumni Network (NIDAN). NIDAN is an organisation that consists of former Nigerians in Diaspora who have returned home, and now own thriving businesses.

President Goodluck Jonathan with First lady Dame Patience Jonathan, with other aides celebrating Nigeria's victory in London yesterday. Photo: State House.

President Goodluck Jonathan with First lady Dame Patience Jonathan, with other aides celebrating Nigeria's victory in London yesterday. Photo: State House.

They lend support to one another, and I am sure they will continue to capitalise on investment and growth opportunities in the Nigerian economy. Most of these successful businesses are in medicine, IT tech firms, entertainment industry, and several other professions,”the lawmaker said.

“With respect to the Diaspora Bond, we know the Federal Government has plans to issue a $500 million bond by issuing a first tranche of $100 million in 2013. This will be a major milestone in the process of involving our Nigerians in the Diaspora in the development of the Nigerian economy.

“As said earlier, there are lots of opportunities for development that these funds can be put to. Also, of all the countries in Africa, Nigeria received $21 billion in remittances from its citizens abroad, putting us at number one in Africa.

This fact, along with the success of the Nigeria's $1 billion Eurobond in 2013 promises to show that Diaspora bond will be a very viable agent of investment and development in Nigeria.

Nigeria remains attractive investment destinations for anyone, no matter the challenge see face today as a nation. We have the human and material resources in abundance. You are part of the solution; let us do all we can to make Nigeria the great country that we know it can be.”

During the interactive session at the forum,  Akinlaja used the opportunity to thank Delta State government for the laudable initiative organized by the governor and his economic team and said their counterpart Ondo State, under the leadership of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, has also created an atmosphere where investment can thrive favourably.

Delta State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Kingsley Emu, who represented  Uduaghan, at the forum, said the state is not just an investment destination. He disclosed that Delta State has also created enabling environment to allow investors get value for their money and also recoup their capital within the framework of their revenue projection.

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