Why Buhari will never be forgotten – Presidency

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PRESIDENTIAL aide, Femi Adesina, says President Muhammadu Buhari will never be forgotten.

In his weekly column, Adesina said Buhari will be remembered for his achievements on diaspora matters.

He wrote: “One area where President Buhari will never be forgotten is in diaspora matters. How the country relates with its nationals abroad, taps into their skills and capacities, takes care of their needs, and generally gives them a sense of inclusion in national affairs.

“In 2017, Buhari saw to the enactment of the Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (Establishment) Act, which provides for the engagement of Nigerians in Diaspora in the policies, projects and participation in the development of Nigeria, and for the purpose of utilizing the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in the Diaspora towards the overall socio-economic, cultural and political development of the country.

“The Nigeria in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) was set up, with our media kinswoman and former Federal lawmaker, Abike Dabiri, as the pioneer Chairman/Chief Executive Officer.

“But the office was not just set up to become a monument or white elephant, President Buhari gives all the support necessary. I was privy to it when he gave an instruction that the NIDCOM CEO must be on all his foreign trips, where he wishes to meet, and engage with Nigerians living abroad. And Nigeria has a treasure trove today in its Diaspora nationals, spread round the world.

“Every week, we hold the State House Press Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team. And who was our guest last week? Hon Abike Dabiri, who had a lot to unfold, justifying why Buhari is known today as the ‘Most Loving Diaspora President’ we’ve had.

“Nigeria boasts of great human resources, both at home and in the Diaspora. But it is one thing to have the rich resources, it’s another thing to harness them. That is what NIDCOM, with the active support of the President, is doing.

“Who is a diaspora? A Nigerian who lives and works abroad, and who maintains links with the country and shows clear interest in contributing to her development in diverse ways. We are not talking of Nigerians who have ‘japa’ (to use a popular local lingo), and who have resolved to have nothing to do with motherland again. Some even stay abroad, and start throwing stones at their country, calling it all sorts of names.

“In terms of financial remittances, see what our diaspora have done in the past three years. Mind you, we are talking of funds remitted through official channels, which can be tracked and recorded, and not the unofficial ones.

“In year 2019, total remittance was 25 billion dollars. In 2020, due to the ravages of COVID-19, it dropped to 17 billion dollars. And in 2021, it shot up to 20 billion dollars again. In Quarter 1 of this year alone, the sum of 5.16 billion dollars had been recorded.

“The significance of these Diaspora remittances should strike home better, when you compare it to what the country gets through Foreign Direct Investment. In 2021, it was 4.8 billion dollars, compared to 20 billion. Diaspora Home Remittances, are, therefore four times our FDI, and contribute about 6.1% of our annual GDP.”

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