Diaspora Nigerians Projects $100 billion Remittance, As Onwuliri Wows
10-29-11, Washington DC : Diaspora Nigerians projected that it could remit over $100 billion a year by 2015, if the right policies are implemented to fully harness the Diaspora potentials. This was contained in the statement made by the Chairman of the Diaspora Nigerians Network (DNN), Prof. Edward Oparaoji, at a recent town hall meeting, in Washington DC, with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Her Excellency, Prof. Viola Onwuliri. He said that “…..It is mind boggling the lack of investment by our government to cultivate, reap and attract the vast resources and potential of Nigerians in the Diaspora… according to World Bank report, Nigerians in the Diaspora remitted $18.6 billion to Nigeria, in 2009- which accounts for official remittances only.…With sound policies and incentives we believe the Diaspora Nigerians have the capacity to infuse over $100 billion per year into Nigeria's economy, by 2015- more revenue than we would ever generate from oil!. ”
Her Excellency Prof. (Mrs) Viola Onwuliri, held the audience spell bound with her impeccable elucidation and down to earth approach of presenting President Jonathan's Transformation Agenda and responding to questions. She solicited and encouraged partnerships focused on priority areas namely; trade and investment, excellence in education, healthcare, and transportation with greater emphasis on railways, agriculture and food security, environment, affordable housing, gender equality and empowerment, security and safety, democracy and good governance, foreign relations and global partnerships, tourism, preservation of culture and language, power and energy. In her passionate appeal to Diaspora Nigerians she said “We need you, you have the talent, the skills and wherewithal to help us deliver for you and all Nigerians…..deploying your skills and expertise in key areas of interest such as education, healthcare, information technology, transportation, agriculture, trade and investment, labor and productivity are critical for the success of our transformation agenda.”
Prof. Onwuliri's presentation titled “Repositioning the Diaspora Nigerian to Accomplish the Transformation Agenda” attracted over 300 participants, including Nigeria's Ambassador to the US, His Excellency Prof. Ade Adefuye, his senior members of the diplomatic corps in Washington DC and Dr Joseph Golwan, the Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution. Feedback from participants were effusively complimentary of Prof. (Mrs) Onwuliri's demeanor, substance and delivery. Pastor Dele Adefila who delivered the inspiring open prayer said “I have attended too many receptions and programs for Nigerian government officials in this city for more than 25 years, I have never been this impressed…she was down to earth, articulate, charming and intelligent….” Another participant Mrs Jumai Ende-Nuhu said “…With a leader like this I have hope for Nigeria…..it is time for women to take over and repair Nigeria….I have to commend President Jonathan for the marvelous appointments to his cabinet”
The purpose of the meeting was to meet and dialogue with Diaspora Nigerians, in order to re-establish and or improve relationships, as first step towards creating conducive environment to attract Diaspora Nigerians participation in accomplishing President Goodluck Jonathan's Transformation Agenda. She became the first seating Nigerian Minister to be officially hosted by Diaspora Nigerians at the esteemed historically Black University- Howard University.