Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Nigerians in the Diaspora remitted a whopping sum of $25 billion to the country in 2019.
Making this disclosure while answering questions from State House reporters after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Chairperson of Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, expressed hopes that the remittances could yet be higher in the years ahead.
According to her, the figure did not include monies sent to their family members but only the amount remitted to the coffers of the government.
She disclosed that plans were underway for the creation of Diaspora Trust Fund as she expressed optimism that Nigerians in Diaspora would continue to aid the growth of the economy at home.
“For 2019, we are dealing with about $25 billion as remittances from Nigerians in the Diaspora. We are 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. Beyond remittances, there are a lot more that 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 on it. We are hoping we can get everything set in the first quarter of next year,” she said.