Nigerians living overseas currently accounted for the highest net contribution to foreign direct investment flows into the country, says Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), ahead of the 2021 Nigerian Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS).
On Tuesday, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission disclosed this at a news conference addressed by its chair, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
The NiDCOM boss noted that the summit underscored that Nigerians living overseas currently accounted for the highest net contribution to foreign direct investment flows into the country, with $25 billion remitted in 2018.
The summit is scheduled to hold from November 16 to 17 at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. The theme of the two-day event is ‘Diaspora Partnership and Linkages for Post-COVID Economic Growth’. More than 5,000 Nigerians living abroad are expected to participate.
“Targeting Nigerians in diaspora for inward investment is probably the best strategy, particularly in the light of a heightened risk profile for the country,” said Ms Dabiri-Erewa. “This is further corroborated by the fact that a number of first and second-generation Nigerians in Diaspora are among a narrow but growing demographic band, experiencing increased wealth with more disposable incomes in the societies where they reside.”
She added, “Typically, they have paid off their mortgage, trained their children through college, and are either retired or retiring, with longing for self-actualisation by way of leaving a legacy for the next generation.”
According to her, unlike foreign investors, Nigerians living abroad “are not overly influenced by the negative risk profile of the country but are motivated by a sentimental attraction,” a strong desire to give back in helping to develop their country.
“This year’s summit comes on the heels of the government’s current emphasis on providing unprecedented support for the small business sector, agriculture and massive infrastructure development,” Ms Dabiri-Erewa explained. “Given that these are the top three job-creating sectors in any economy, it vindicates the decision of the summit organisers to prioritise them.”
She believed that “diaspora investors will, therefore, be encouraged to channel their investment into these, as well as the other sectors.”