The Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja called on Nigerians in the Diaspora to be part of its programmes and policies by investing at home for national development.
The government which put the remittances from Nigerians in the Diaspora at $26bn also expressed optimism that the figures would also rise.
The Chairman and Chief Executive of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, stated these in an interview with journalists during a symposium on organised by the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa.
She also confirmed that three Nigerian singers held by the government of Uganda for alleged contravention of COVID-19 guidelines would soon be released from detention.
Dabiri-Erewa said, “We are not even saying, come back. We are saying that Nigerians in the Diaspora should be part of the programmes and policies of government. That is why we have the Diaspora Investment Summit, Diaspora Investment Trust Fund, and many others. They are showing more interest in investing back home.
“We need to focus on that and we are doing that already. We are strategically communicating; we are strategically dealing with the Diaspora which we were never doing before. In terms of remittances, $26bn was what was remitted. We have to wait for the next one.
“Going abroad is not a bad thing; you find yourself abroad, you get skills and capacity. Wherever you are, you should be part of the programmes and policies of the government. We are circulating the brain and the response has been very good from Nigerians abroad who have the passion and interest in the country.
“The three Nigerians arrested in Uganda will soon be released; they will soon be back. We have been working with the Mission and the Mission has been fantastic on this. Their lawyers can confirm this to you. As I speak with you, they are with them right now at wherever they kept them. So, they will soon be back.”
The acting Director-General of DTCA, Adamu Yahaya Mahmud, said over the years, the agency had been engaged in programmes involved in the use of African experts in tackling developmental challenges all over Africa.