Buhari Approves Establishment of Diaspora Investment Trust Fund

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Deji Elumoye

President Muhammadu Buhari has okayed the establishment of the Nigerian Diaspora Investment Trust Fund (NDITF), a private sector investment window for Nigerians in the Diaspora to support direct investments in the country.

The president, who spoke yesterday at the State House, Abuja, during the presentation of a compendium entitled +600 Diaspora Icons @ 60, published by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), declared that Nigeria was open to welcoming investments by compatriots abroad.

Buhari, who also pledged support for the establishment of the Diaspora Intervention Fund to support the Commission to fulfil its mandate, stressed that the foreign exchange remittances by Nigerians in the Diaspora have not only helped families but enhanced the development index of Nigeria.

He described the 327-page compendium as a historical record of the worth of our compatriots globally, adding that the list of that that made up the publication was a reminder of what Nigerians were capable of doing to the delight of the global community.

According to him: “Irrespective of the few bad eggs among us, and every nation has such bad eggs, Nigeria remains a great country, populated by great people, living at home or abroad, making us proud.

“This compendium attests to that fact and the names of people and the fields they have excelled speak about their resilience and how exceptional Nigerians, both at home and abroad, have become.”

The president told Nigerians that it was their duty to extol and celebrate compatriots that excel in their chosen careers and professions.

“No one else will do so for us. Rather, other people will tend to capitalise on the few bad eggs and characterise us in their own narratives, narratives that seek to characterise us in bad light. We must not allow that to happen.

“As we launch the compendium of excellent Nigerians today, we are also celebrating some of our best, nationally and globally.

“I call on every Nigerian, irrespective of where they may be, to continue to be of exemplary behaviour and with determination to offer quality services that contribute to the progress of humanity,” he added.

While recalling his engagements with Nigerians in the Diaspora during his official trips abroad, Buhari said his Diaspora threefold agenda remains unchanged.

‘‘Nigerians in the Diaspora are our Ambassadors-at-large by their character, comportment and daily actions.

“They should be the best and excel in all their endeavours and they should ‘give back’ by contributing to the development of Nigeria,’” he added.

Earlier in her remarks, the Chairman/CEO of NiDCOM, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa said the idea of the compendium was borne out of the regular Diaspora presidential town hall meetings.

‘‘The compendium is birthed out of the necessity to recognise, celebrate and showcase Nigerians in the Diaspora who are doing great things in their host countries and also contributing to the socio-economic development of Nigeria,’’ she added.