Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, on Tuesday, said Nigerians in the Diaspora sent about $25 billion to Nigeria in 2019.
Dabiri-Erewa, stated this while briefing State House correspondent, after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors at the presidential villa, Abuja.
She said that the commission had started engaging the National Assembly on the possibility of Nigerians abroad participating in future elections.
She told journalists that she was at the State House to brief the president on progresses made so far by the Commission, since it was inaugurated in May 2019.
She appealed to state governors who have not done anything about the plights of their indigenes that recently returned from troubled countries to come forward with needed interventions, saying her commission had done a lot in providing succour to many Nigerians who had been stranded abroad.
“For 2019, we are dealing with about $25 billion as remittances from Nigerians in the Diaspora. We hoping it could get better. There are even areas that are not even captured. The foremost remittances are not even captured; the $500 to your brothers, to your sisters,” she said.
“Beyond remittances, there are a lot more than Nigerians in the Diaspora will do for their country. We hope it gets better, we hope that Nigerians in the Diaspora continue to help in resuscitating the Nigerian economy.
“We are putting a team in place to work out modalities for the Diaspora Trust Fund. We are in the process of planning it and engaging Nigerians in the Diaspora as to how it can be done. A few countries, like Ethiopia, have a Diaspora Investment Fund, Nigeria should not be an exception. We are working at it. We are hoping we can get everything set in the first quarter of next year.”
On the efforts to enable Nigerians in the Diaspora participate in future elections, Dabiri-Erewa added:
“We’ll be engaging the National Assembly to look into the issue of Diaspora voting. Nigerians in the Diaspora believe they should be able to vote and remitting so much to the country, contributing so much to the economy, we believe they should be able to vote. So we hope we can work with the parliament to amend the relevant laws to make it possible for people in the Diaspora to vote”.