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Okonjo-Iweala advises Nigerian diaspora to support national economy for peace



Okonjo-Iweala advises Nigerian diaspora to support national economy for peace

By Maureen Okon

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director General (DG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), said Nigerians’ contributions at home and abroad could have a positive impact on the country’s economy to foster peaceful coexistence.

The CEO said this during a webinar to celebrate National Diaspora Day Sunday in Abuja, hosted by the Nigerians Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) to commemorate its establishment and achievements so far.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the event was themed: “Diaspora Integration for National Peace and Development,” which NiDCOM described as being anchored on the levers of peace that would accelerate the diaspora engagement for national growth and development.

The commission observed that no nation could succeed in an atmosphere steeped in insecurity, hatred and divisive tendencies.

In his contribution, Okonjo-Iweala praised the diaspora for their enormous contributions to the country’s economy, citing in particular how their remittances have enabled the development of rural areas and the maintenance of the economy.

“Let me applaud fellow Nigerians in the diaspora because they contribute so much, in so many ways; the remittances sent home by the diaspora are in the millions of dollars, which has helped support our economy.

“It helps people living in rural areas get the resources to send their children to school, take care of their health, start and run businesses, but we can do more wherever we are in the diaspora, because it there is no place like home.

“So what we should be thinking about is how we can help make things better wherever we are, whether in the village or town to make things better at home, or by creating jobs, companies, a civil society organization, or help support what the local government is trying to do.

“This is what helps to create peace and I am not saying that is it, but the fact remains that there are so many young people who do not have a job and that the situation COVID-19 made matters worse with the lockdown.

“I think we should think about what we can do to help improve the economic situation of people at home because that’s what helps bring peace.

“If we didn’t have so many disoriented and disorganized unemployed young people, some of the activities that we see at home that undermine peace and security might not be happening,” she said.

Speaking earlier, Amb. Zubairu Dada, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said the federal government was ready to create an enabling environment that would encourage direct diaspora investment.

Dada added that Nigerians in the diaspora have continuously shown great dedication, with their time, skills, talents, resources and global exposure, to the development of the country.

“The theme of this year’s event encapsulates Nigeria’s intention in high engagement with its diaspora, especially in these times when we are in dire need of peace, if ever development is to take place.

“This celebration is also a networking event intended to showcase the achievements of Nigerians in the diaspora, especially our surgeons, educators, world-class athletes, engineers, lawyers and internationally renowned scientists, among others.

“Men and women who have distinguished themselves in the careers they have chosen for their enormous contribution to the peace and progress of their host countries and of humanity in general.

“I want to assure you that the Federal Government of Nigeria will provide an enabling environment, through suitable policies and programs to support you and your well-being, and in turn encourage you to give back for the upliftment of your country. “, did he declare.

He added that the government had taken a new step by approving and adopting the National Diaspora Policy 2021 and its action plan, for a more holistic approach to the nation’s engagement with the Diaspora.

Ms. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, President and CEO of NIDCOM, noted that development can only flourish in a peaceful environment, hence the need for maximum cooperation to collaborate.

She urged the diaspora to collaborate with Nigeria, their country of origin, by sharing ideas, technologies and other skills, which would promote its development.

NAN reports that the National Diaspora Policy 2021 was unveiled by the head of NiDCOM, Mr. Franz Celestin, Head of Mission, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Sir Chibuzor Ugochi of the Organization of Nigerians in the Diaspora ( NIDO UK-SOUTH). (NAN) www.nannews. ng

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