As local and foreign stakeholders countdown to the Sixth Nigerian Diaspora Investment Summit, it is essential to underscore the criticality of the contributions of our kin outside the homeland but with their hearts at home. Diaspora investments in Nigeria’s trying times are imperative for several reasons.
Diaspora remittances constitute a significant source of foreign exchange for Nigeria. In 2021, Nigerians in the diaspora sent home $19.9 billion in remittances, more than the country’s earnings from foreign direct investment (FDI). Families use this money to cover basic needs such as food, education, and healthcare. It is also a significant source of investment capital for businesses and entrepreneurs.
Diaspora investments can help to create jobs and boost economic growth. When Nigerians in the diaspora invest in their home country, they create new jobs and increase economic activity. This can help to reduce poverty and create a more prosperous society.
Diaspora investments can help to develop infrastructure and improve public services. Diaspora investments can build new roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, and other essential infrastructure. They can also improve public services such as healthcare and education.
In our local communities, the contributions of Diaspora citizens enabled the commencement and completion of many self-help projects. They cover school buildings, additional classrooms, roads, boreholes and water tanks, community halls, and skills centres.
Diaspora investments help to promote technology transfer and innovation. Nigerians in the diaspora have access to the latest technologies and expertise. When they invest in Nigeria, they can transfer this knowledge and expertise to the local economy to boost productivity and innovation.
Diaspora investments can help to improve the image of Nigeria. When Nigerians in the diaspora invest in their home country, it sends a positive signal to the world that Nigeria is an excellent place to do business. It generates a multiplier of trust and attracts more foreign investment and tourism.
Some critical sectors attractive to diaspora investors include Real estate, Healthcare, Education, Technology, Agriculture, Manufacturing and Tourism.
The Nigerian government has also taken many steps to encourage diaspora investments, such as:
- Establishing the Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) to coordinate diaspora engagement. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has steered the commission to critical acclaim.
- Launching the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Trust Fund (NDITF) to provide financing for diaspora investments
- Amending the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) to allow Nigerians in the diaspora to vote in company meetings.
The 6th Nigerian Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS 6 2023) seeks to create further opportunities for attracting and broadening Diaspora investments, given the current state of the Nigerian economy.
Anticipation is high about the event that will be held on 13-15 November 2023. The theme is New Vistas, New Aspirations- The Diaspora and National Development. Vice President Kashim Shettima will be the special guest of honour and keynote speaker at the first NDIS under the new administration of President Bola Tinubu.
Renowned global agribusiness conglomerate Heifer International is the Lead sponsor. Heifer Nigeria’s signature initiative, Naija Unlock, aims to help unlock Nigeria’s food self-sufficiency potential by working with smallholder farmers to fill the gap in local food demand while closing the income gap for families.
The focus sectors for NDIS 6 2023 include agribusiness, technology, education, healthcare, real estate and infrastructure. Others are creative and entertainment, energy, mining and manufacturing.
Heifer International will lead the exposition on opportunities with a special session highlighting significant investment opportunities, trends and developments, and thought leadership insights in the Agribusiness sector. There will be a business pitching segment where home-based entrepreneurs and founders present their identified and verified investment opportunities. UK-based Africa Foundation for Development (AFFORD) will moderate a crowdfunding session to share knowledge, insights and tips on maximising crowdfunding for startup and early-stage fundraising.
The organisers say 3,000 physical and virtual participants will be at NDIS 6. There will also be “at least 72 identified Nigerian Diaspora investors, over 200 small business owners and 50 business pitchers seeking investors. It will feature about 30 exhibitors and in-person attendance by over 60 officials from the MDAs.”
The Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS) is an annual event that fosters economic collaboration and inward investment in Nigeria by bringing together foreign investors, home-based entrepreneurs and relevant government officials. A private sector initiative supported by the Nigerian government through the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), its primary aim is to demonstrate that in the face of stiff competition for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), targeting Nigerians in Diaspora for inward investment is probably the best strategy for a country like Nigeria with over 15m of its citizens gainfully domiciled in Diaspora. NDIS provides a unique platform for engagement between the Nigerian diaspora and global investors, promoting innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth and development in Nigeria.
- Chido Nwakanma is a public relations, branding, content development, and media engagement strategist and custom publisher.