More than 200 Nigerians in the Diaspora have indicated interest to participate in the maiden Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS) slated to hold in November in Abuja.
At a joint news conference with other stakeholders in Abuja, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora said the summit aimed at encouraging Nigerians in the Diaspora to channel their funds into the formal sectors.
The three-day summit, which has as its theme: “Activating Diaspora Investments for a Diversified Economy’’ is geared towards attracting Nigerians in the Diaspora to look inward into their home country for investment.
Dabiri-Erewa said considering the current measures introduced to improve the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria and the fact that Nigeria is fast becoming a robust investment destination for smart investors necessitated the summit.
She said the NDIS vision is to contribute to raising global awareness of business opportunities for Diaspora investors and sponsors.
Justifying the benefits of the proposed summit, she said that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) is set and hopes to achieve the ERGP’s goal of seven per cent GDP growth by the year 2020.
“When we look at the Nigerian Diaspora remittances, the fact that it is over 22 Billion Naira a year, which typically goes into helping their families regularly and the funds do not have lasting benefits for majority of the benefactors.
“Therefore, the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit is providing a platform for Nigerians in the Diaspora to invest in the economic development of their country which will, in turn, make them and their beneficiaries to have a more sustainable means of generating income on a regular basis’’, she said.
Speaking in the same vein, The Nigerian Diaspora Alumni Network (NiDAN) Director, Dr. Badewa T. Adejugbe-Williams said the Summit is to complement the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in attracting foreign investments into the country targeting Nigerians in the Diaspora.
Williams said the 3-day summit will identify ready and prospective investment opportunities which Diasporans can explore, with the assistance of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and other relevant authorities.
“It will establish a platform where Diaspora investors can interact with potential sponsors, partners, collaborators and the government and have direct roundtable deals for mutual benefits.’’
She added that it will also showcase and explore in an unprecedented manner, the vast number of government diaspora investment incentives, business investment and potential sponsorship opportunities in all the 36 States of Nigeria.
Also, the summit will explore ways to harness the unexplored skills, the capital and technical know-how of Nigerians abroad and institutional participants that are major players in the Nigerian economy as well as the Organised Private Sector; relevant government agencies and Foreign Development Partners like USAID, DFID, UNDP, World Bank, and IMF.
The target sectors of the Summit include agribusiness, education, training and skills development, entertainment, hospitality and tourism, extractive industries, healthcare, Infrastructure and real estate, manufacturing, telecommunication, technology and innovations, transportation, waste management, and environmental remediation.
Other stakeholders at the news conference include Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and some members of Nigerians in the Diaspora.