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Improve Ease Of Doing Business, Nigerians Diaspora Urge FG

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Abike Dabiri-Erewa

Members of the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS) have lamented the difficulty in  investing in the country.

They have, therefore, implored  the federal government and all stakeholders to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria by generating data-driven indices and projections as well as creating insurance and contract transparency in the country.

The Diasporans made the call recently at the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit held Presidential Banquet Hall, Abuja,  from November 27 – 29, 2018,with the theme “Activating Diaspora Investments for a Diversified Economy.”

In a communique jointly signed by the senior special assistant to the president on Diaspora Matters, AbikeDabiri-Erewa, and Dr.BadewaAdejugbe-Williams on behalf of organisers of the summit, and issued on Friday, December 14, 2018, the body asked the federal government to “strengthen the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria by enacting policies that favour transparency and accountability while punishing corruption at all levels.”

This, they said, would attract additional investments from the Diaspora and other foreign investors.

LEADERSHIP Sunday gathered that the summit was a call to tap into the abundance of Diaspora expertise and resources as Nigeria’s surest path to a strong economy and to prioritise incentives and policies that facilitate the engagement of the Diaspora in all sectors of the economy.

LEADERSHIP Sunday reports that, presently, Nigerians in the Diaspora contribute about 25 per cent of GDP (in remittances) to the Nigerian economy,a reason, the body says, makes it imperative to create a formal non-partisan channel to harness the enormity of resources existing within the Nigerian Diaspora globally towards transforming the economic base of the nation.

While commending the federal government’s Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council’s (PEBEC) initiatives on the ease of doing businessand the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP)as good economic steps, the Nigerians in Diaspora urged government to “extend the same incentives available to foreign investors to its Diaspora investors who face the same international competition in their respective host countries, and facilitate matching them with reliable partners.

“Strict adherence to business ethics and regulatory standards must be sustained and supported by all and sundry, including the Diaspora,” the group said in the communique.

The NDIS also announced their readiness to become major drivers of the Nigerian economy and chart the path for private sector-led innovation and market-based solutions if the right environment is created by the authorities.

The groupstated its resolve to help Nigeria leverage Diaspora commitment to encourage investment of the nation’s financial resources, experiences and expertise in building her economy as has been done by other countries.

It further urged government to “engage the expertise of Diaspora in Commissions, National Committees to contribute to creating national blueprints for the development of Economic Sectors of the 21st Century such as the Bio-Economy, Computer and Cyber industries and precision agriculture, among others.

“Establish the Diaspora Commission – to be fully set up and adequately funded and empowered to achieve the goal of engaging the Diaspora for national development. This is imperative to show the world that the government truly values the contribution of the Diaspora.”

The Summit assembled over 250 participants, 65 project submissions, several banks, Nigerian Diaspora investors, businessmen and interested business promoters from diverse parts of the world as well as indigenous investors, inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs and many government officials and agencies.

It featured, among others, vibrant exhibition booths, presentations covering key sectors of the economy including agribusiness, education, training and skills development, entertainment, hospitality, tourism and extractive industries among others.

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