The Federal Government will soon float a Diaspora bond to tap into the resources of Nigerians living abroad as one of the measures to overcome recession, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said.
Dabiri-Erewa said this on Tuesday when she visited the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to seek for a working relationship with the ministry.
She said looking to the Diaspora to overcome recession was not without precedent as Ireland also sought remittances from its citizens abroad when it was hit by recession.
Dabiri-Erewa expressed confidence that with about $21bn being remitted to the country annually, Nigerians abroad were capable of pulling the country out of recession if they were adequately informed and engaged by the government.
She said the plan to float a Diaspora bond would enable Nigerians citizens living abroad to invest in infrastructure development and also to explore the opportunity of making profit on their investments.
While stressing the need for an accurate database of Nigerians abroad, she said a Diaspora policy would soon be put in place to define and facilitate the engagement with them and harness the intellects of Nigerians in various fields in the Diaspora to contribute positively to nation building.
Dabiri-Erewa said, “We are coming up with a programme called PRIDE, that is, the Presidential Initiative for Diaspora Excellence. We will bring it down to various fields; we are working on medicine and agriculture.
“So, we are getting Nigerians in the Diaspora in those fields who are going to come together and make sure they contribute positively to the progress and development of Nigeria.”
Responding, Mohammed said his ministry would soon launch an information portal to keep Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora abreast of the government’s programmes and policies, and also get their feedback.
He also disclosed that the ministry would also extend its town hall meetings to Nigerians living in some countries and cities with large Nigerian population.
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