Nigerians abroad remit $21bn in one year, says SGF

By Wahab Akanji, Abuja 

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal has disclosed that a total of $21 billion were remitted to Nigeria by Nigerians in Diaspora in the last one year. 

He made the remark during the 2016 Diaspora Day press briefing for the Conference billed to hold between 24th and 26th of this month. 

Lawal, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of Political Affairs in the office of the SGF, Olakunle Bamgbose, also disclosed that the Federal Government is partnering Nigerians abroad on meeting the needs of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the country. 

He said that the government has approved waivers for drugs, roofing sheets, other items being imported by Nigerians in Diaspora to aid IDPs, for youth empowerment and to assist enterprises. 

Noting that no commitment was obtained from Nigerians in diaspora by the last administration last year, he said that the Federal Government will only partner with Nigerians in Diaspora who are coming with solutions and are ready to contribute to national development, and not just reeling out the problems. 

He said, “This year’s conference will take a complete departure from our past experiences, when our nationals, come home, only to highlight the challenges that confront our nation. The government and citizens of Nigeria at home are not ignorant of challenges as a nation. What our nation requires are solutions to specific problems. 

“This year’s conference, in essence, will focus on obtaining firm commitments from Nigerians in the Diaspora, directed at solving some of our national challenges. This administration is ready to partner with Nigerians in Diaspora on how they can assist Internally Displaced? Persons (IDPs) in the North-East Region; on how through medical interventions they can improve healthcare delivery across the country and on how they can assist government in Youth Empowerment and employment generation.

“I am happy to confirm that already, we have? received commitments from Nigerians in line with the new thinking. We intend to obtain more commitments during the conference and as follow-up ensure that such commitments are redeemed”. 

He disclosed that this year’s conference will be declared open by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, while the Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs will make presentations amongst other speakers. 

“Let me assure you that the Federal Government will continue to partner with our compatriots outside the country. This is because we appreciate the invaluable contributions they continue to make towards the growth and development of the nation. 

“This partnership is more critical today that we pursue a total national rebirth”. He stated

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