The Diaspora remittances rose $20 billion in 2021, an amount four times the Foreign Direct Investment in the same period. This is in addition to their investments in various sectors of the Nigerian economy such as Healthcare, Agriculture, Education, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Housing and Real Estate, Transportation, Oil and Gas.
President Muhammadu Buhari also lauded them for being good ambassadors of Nigeria through playing examplary roles in their different areas of endeavour, and urged them to sustain the tempo to earn more respect of their host.
The President made the call on Saturday at townhall meeting with Nigerians in the Diaspora, in New York.
He was quoted saying “It is gratifying for me to note that many Nigerians in the USA have continued to excel in their careers leading to some being appointed into the cabinet of His Excellency President Joe Biden.
“Similarly, many have been elected/appointed into various responsible and competitive positions in the United States of America. I congratulate those who have brought honours and pride to our country. I thank and commend them for their respective successes as I equally urge them to demonstrate the highest sense of responsibility in order that they continue to remain reference points of excellence as they serve humankind in this country.
“As always, I wish to emphasise the absolute necessity for each and every one of you to continue to remain law-abiding as you live in the United States of America and comport yourselves in such exemplary manners that should earn you the privilege of reference as good Ambassadors of Nigeria.
“In order to earn yourselves collective self-respect within the communities you live in, you must live with one another peacefully and continue to do so without sub-divisions amongst yourselves. As you may know, as a people, we shall always be stronger together.”
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission was created by his administration to serve as a bridge between them and the country in the developmental agenda with the expectation that they will give back to the country:
“As our Diaspora Ambassadors, we expect your willingness to ‘give back’ to Nigeria some of your resources, talents, skills and global exposure in the development of our great country, Nigeria.”
President Buhari assured them that his government will continue to act in their interests whenever the need arises, citing recent evacuations in Libya, South Africa, and recently Ukraine. He added that he had also approved the same in UAE and India.
The President lauded Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chair of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission who coordinated the event, for her innovative programmes to bring the ambassadors closer home such as the Diaspora Registration Portal, the Diaspora Mortgage Scheme and the Nigerian Diaspora Investment Trust (NDIT).
President Buhari reiterated the administration’s commitment to free, fair and transparent elections in 2023 as this is the only way Nigeria can continue to “set the right example for the rest of Africa and hopefully stop the recourse to unconstitutional changes of Governments in our sub-region and the rest of the African Continent.