No fewer than 3,000 would-be investors will participate in the 3rd Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS) 2020 jointly organized by Nigeria Diaspora Summit Initiative (NDSI) and Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM).
The Chairman/CEO of NIDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said at a press briefing that the two-day Virtual Summit which will start on November 20, is aimed at creating an avenue for prospective, meaningful and sustainable Diaspora Investment toward boosting Nigeria’s economic growth.
The event which will be declared open by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, has as its of theme: “’Post-COVID-19 Economic Resurgence: Targeting Diaspora Investment.”
According to the organizers, it is free for participants but pitchers are to pay N15,000 each.
The virtual summit will also showcase the investment opportunities and development framework put in place to make investing in Nigeria more attractive to Nigeria Diaspora investors.
This year’s summit will focus on these key sectors: Healthcare, Education, Agribusiness, Creative, Entertainment & Sports, Telecommunication, ICT/Fintech, Manufacturing and Real Estate.
The virtual exhibition will start at 1.00pm while the summit proper will start at 2.00pm prompt.
She said this was the best time to invest in Nigeria, adding that the summit will also address challenges of the two previous summits as well as showcase success stories of those who have dared to return home to invest.
According to her, Nigerians from previous summits have returned to invest in the healthcare, food business, education, ICT and agriculture sector.
The NIDCOM boss expressed joy that the younger generations had indicated interest to invest in Nigeria.
“COVID will go away, our lives will be normal again but this is the best time to invest in our country.
” The good thing is that every state now has focal person on Diaspora matters who will make available investment opportunities to participants,” Dabire-Erewa said.
She recalled that at the second investment summit held in 2019 that 50 Nigerians based in Saudi, who had not visited the country, came home for the first time and invested.
Describing the summit as a knowledge ground for investments, she expressed the hope that the summit would also address the issue of Nigerians in Ghana and those that have indicated to return home due to hash operational conditions imposed by Ghanaian authorities.
“The 753 Nigerian business owners in Ghana who have indicated interest in return home, the ministries of Interior, foreign affairs and industry, trade and investment are already responding to the closure of shops belonging to Nigerians in Ghana, with a view to resolving them.
“753 actually signed the document that says they want to return to Nigeria.
“So with this request from them, what is going on now is that the three ministers involved will have some engagement with them to see what actually should be the next thing.
“Now you’ve said you want to come to your country, so there should be no problem about that. They are Nigerians and we are proud of them and glad to return them home.
“But they must return to something meaningful. Like one of them said to me when they came to NIDCOM office, a lot of them have been there for over 25 years; so just uprooting yourself for not committing any crime – the only crime they’ve committed is that they are very good at their trade, at their jobs,” Dabire-Erewa said.
On Diaspora voting, Dabire-Erewa, said the bill has gone through first and second reading in the National Assembly and has been slated as part of the laws that will be amended.
She said: “Diaspora voting is going to happen, is a question of when not if. INEC says it’s ready, President Muhammadu Buhari says he is ready but we are waiting for the National Assembly.”
The Coordinator of the summit, Dr. Badewa Adejugbe- Williams, on her part said Nigerians in diaspora were aware of what has been going on in the country, hence the decision to return home to invest in the economy.
She said the sunmit will help expand businesses, increased earnings, and address youth restiveness by providing jobs.
“A lot of Nigerians in diaspora are looking for opportunities to invest because investing abroad is now very risky. They have even commended NIDCOM for action taken on previous summits.”