Managing director and CEO of Heritage Bank, Mr. Ifie Sekibo, has advised Nigerians in diaspora to seek appropriate information in order to take advantage of the investment opportunities in the nation’s economy.
Sekibo said Nigerians in diaspora can invest in housing, mining, ICT, waste management and Made in Nigeria products.
Speaking in Atlanta, United States during a 3 day conference organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, USA Branch and co-sponsored by Heritage Bank tagged, “Atlanta 2018: Investing at Home”, Sekibo urged Nigerians living in diaspora to invest at home and make their motherland grow economically.
According to him, “The reason why we are here is to encourage Nigerians in the diaspora to invest in Nigeria and this is particularly important because of recent times, we have had upsurge of remittance flows from diaspora to Nigeria and the figures have continued to grow.
“What are they deploying this money into, how are they investing it, there is need for us to interact with them and know where they put the money, give them a roadmap of what is available, show them what we have in our country that is obtainable and where they could invest the money. We are not just calling them to come and invest but what is there to invest in and how do you invest. Who do you partner with to do these investments and the information you require to do the investments”.
Speaking on the risk factors involved in investing at home, Sekibo said Nigerians living in diaspora need information about how and where to invest their monies.
His words, “Concerning the risk factor, you just don’t give money to somebody to invest for you. You need adequate information, you need facts and there is need to know the kind of structures available and the regulations. Also, they need to know the boundaries and on what basis they are doing this investment. All these information are required and that is why we are we are here as a bank to give Nigerians in Diaspora all this information”.
“Our mission in this 3days conference is to tell them yes there are regulations, yes there are opportunities they can get involved in back home but how do you go about them? We have had many people in diaspora complain about their family members swindling them of their monies, that is not to say it is all family members that are bad, we have also had some family members doing good job in investing monies for their families abroad and most times. We are now in a technology age where you can go online and get whatever information you want. There is what we call Nigerian Investors Promotion Council, their website has all the necessary information which you can tap from,” he stated.
Sekibo further stated, “You can stay here in the United States and monitor your own business through technology because majority of those things can be done online. Technology can enhance all these rather than go through people, but you need information on what is available, so you know the pitfalls before taking a decision”.
Asked how political instability affects investments, Sekibo said, “In every country, there is political instability, politics is part of the risk that you need to factor into play but today, I can strongly say that politics does not define our economic potentials in Nigeria. For example, Agriculture thrives without politics and you can invest in it and get the kind of values you need to get because it has nothing to do with politics”.
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