As preparations for the third Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS) 2020, convened by Nigeria Diaspora Summit Initiative (NDSI) in collaboration with Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) reach top gear, the Chairman/CEO, NIDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, is hopeful that the two-day Virtual Summit which kicks off on November 20th, will achieve the desired aim, which is creating an avenue for prospective, meaningful and sustainable Diaspora Investment to be relied upon to boost economic growth in Nigeria.
The NiDCOM boss, who made the disclosure at a press briefing yesterday, intimated that he Virtual Summit will also showcase the investment opportunities and development framework put in place to make investing in Nigeria more attractive to Nigeria Diaspora investors.
The event, which is to be declared open by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, is themed “Post-COVID-19 Economic Resurgence: Targeting Diaspora Investment”, and is free for participants but pitchers are to pay N15,000.
This year’s summit, she said, will focus on these key sectors: Healthcare, Education, Agribusiness, Creative, Entertainment & Sports, Telecommunication, ICT/Fintech, Manufacturing and Real Estate.
She also said this was the best time to invest in Nigeria, adding that the summit will also address challenges of the two previous summits as well as showcase success stories of those who have dared to return home to invest.
According to her, Nigerians from previous summits have returned to invest in the healthcare, food business, education, ICT and agriculture sector.
Dabiri-Erewa described the summit as a knowledge ground for investments, adding that the virtual exhibition will start at 1 pm while the summit proper will start at 2 pm prompt.
She said the summit will also address the issue of Nigerians in Ghana and those that have indicated to return home due to harsh operating conditions imposed by Ghanaian authorities.
‘753 actually signed the document that says they want to return to Nigeria.
‘So with this request from them, what is going on now is that the three ministers involved will have some engagement with them to see what actually should be the next thing.
‘Now you’ve said you want to come to your country, so there should be no problem about that. They are Nigerians and we are proud of them and glad to return them home.
‘But they must return to something meaningful… A lot of them have been there for over 25 years; so just uprooting yourself for not committing any crime – the only crime they’ve committed is that they are very good at their trade, at their jobs,’ she said.
On diaspora voting, Dabiri-Erewa said the bill has gone through first and second reading in the National Assembly and has been slated as part of the laws that will be amended.
‘Diaspora voting is going to happen, it is a question of when not if. INEC says it’s ready, President mMhammadu Buhari says he is ready but we are waiting for the Bational Assembly.’
The coordinator of the summit, Dr. Badewa Adejugbe- Williams, on her part said diasporans are aware of what has been going on in the country hence the decision to return home to invest to help the economy.
She expressed optimism that the summit will help expand businesses, increase earnings, and address youth restiveness by providing jobs.
‘A lot of Nigerians in the diaspora are looking for opportunities to invest because investing abroad is now very risky. They have even commended NiDCOM for action taken on previous summits’, she sad.