President Buhari has urged Nigerians in the diaspora to support the country’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts.
He made the appeal in a video message to commemorate the 2020 Diaspora Day themed ,“Leveraging Diaspora Resources for National Development in a COVID-19 Era”.
He also commended Nigerians abroad, estimated to be more than 17 million, for their remittances to the country.
“Over the past three years, Nigerians in the diaspora have brought in over $25 billion annually as home remittances to the Nigerian economy through official and non-formal channels.
This is about 6.0% of our annual GDP and upwards of 80% of our annual budget. This has impacted on livelihoods of Nigerians in terms of education, health, housing and estate development, industry, trade and investments, agriculture and technology/skills transfer.
In terms of diaspora home remittances, Nigeria is rated as number one in sub-Saharan Africa and this is still growing especially with the advocacy and mobilisation programmes of the newly established Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM).
Nigerians in the diaspora are also known to be engaged in skill transfer in ICT and industry. They are also active in our universities as lecturers, and in carrying out medical missions.
It is, therefore, my sincere hope that even with the depressed economy under stress in the year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nigerians in the diaspora will rise up to the occasion of not abandoning their country of origin, but be active in our post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts.” he said.
He encouraged them to continue to be good ambassadors of the country as well as give back to the country .