Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Nigerians living in the United States, speaking for themselves and for others across the world, listed a litany of troubles and discouragement created for them by the Nigerian government which fails to reciprocate their effort to help build the country.
They cited the herculean task of trying to obtain a Nigerian passport or visa, how Abuja scammed them through a failed Diaspora Village project, extorted them of dollars through Covid testing, and now depriving them of voting in a critical ballot.
A letter they wrote to Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Chief Executive Officer Abike Dabiri-Erewa urged her to prevail on Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure they vote in the 2023 election they see as a make or break for Nigeria.
“Kindly ensure compliance with the above before or by October 1, 2022,” said the letter, written on behalf of Diasporans by Emmanuel Ogebe, Managing Partner at US Nigeria Law Group (USNLG), Washington.
The letter is reproduced below:
Diasporans remit funds, ‘lootocrats’ steal
DIASPORA COMMISSION SHOULD SECURE OUR VOTING RIGHTS FOR 2023 ELECTIONS
I was concerned to see a statement attributed to the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) warning Nigerian citizens abroad not to sponsor political activities in Nigeria.
While I have the utmost respect for Abike Dabiri’s advocacy and constancy for our constituency over the years, I must caution that this is wholly unacceptable and dangerously retrogressive.
For the record,
Nigerians in Diaspora have in recent times remitted more money to the national economy than Nigeria’s oil production.
Besides that, the Diaspora’s multi-billion dollar annual remittances have historically been a stabilizing factor that mitigate the capital flight induced by corruption over the years. In short, our forex [foreign exchange] remittances are the life blood transfusion that have stemmed the financial haemorhagging by lootocrats.
The Nigerian government has borrowed money from the Diaspora by means of the Diaspora Bond.
Similarly, the current regime in which you serve introduced a policy to incentivize more forex influx from Diaspora by CBN [Central Bank of Nigeria] paying five naira for each dollar sent. This temporary policy was so lucrative that the CBN extended it indefinitely and remittances even exceeded oil export revenues.
In February 2022, the CBN claimed that diaspora remittances surged by 1,566.6%, accounting for a sizable portion of the CBN’s daily dollar receipts, from $6 million weekly to $100 million since the launch of the Naira-to-Sollar promo.