By Dipo Olowookere
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was working out ways to make the Diaspora Investment Fund achieve its main goals and objectives.
The former lawmaker from Lagos State made this disclosure while reacting to the views of former CEO of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mr Mustafa Chike-Obi, on Diaspora remittances.
Mr Chike-Obi had said, “The problem with Diaspora remittances is that they come in small quantities and are mostly for consumption, not investment or productivity.
“In the absence of productivity, consumption tends to fuel inflation. At this rate, increased remittances will soon become counter-productive.”
But reacting to this, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said, “One of the reasons we are working on modalities for a Diaspora Investment Fund.”
Business Post reports that in February 2019, Mrs Dabiri-Erewa was quoted by Bloomberg to have said government was targeting $3 billion in investment funding from citizens living mainly in the United States to support the agriculture, power, mining and transportation sectors.
The government would support “a diaspora investment fund,” the former broadcaster, who was then the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Diaspora Affairs had said in an interview.
According to her, “They’re planning a $3 billion investment in Nigeria. The fund will be driven by Nigerians in America.”
She had further said government’s focus was primarily on non-oil investments, with mining and agriculture among the top priorities.
Nigeria is seeking investments to diversify its economy away from oil, which currently accounts for about two-thirds of government revenue and more than 90 percent of foreign income.
A sharp drop in crude prices in 2014 and foreign-currency shortages that followed led Nigeria into its first economic contraction in a quarter century in 2016.
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