30 November 2012

Nigeria: Maku Tasks Citizens in Diaspora On Partnership for National Development

The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, on Friday in London called on Nigerians in Diaspora to partner with the government on national development initiatives.

Maku stated this on Friday in London, at "The Nigerian Conversation Peace and Unity Forum" organised by the Commonwealth Youth Organisation of Nigeria.

He said the Nigerian community in diaspora could be a major driver of the nation's developmental process, by bringing their experiences to bear in all sectors of the economy.

"What we need is partnership with Nigerian in the diaspora, to place them in a position that they will become major drivers of our national development.

"They can bring their experience from Europe, UK, and U.S. back home," the minister said.

He recalled that in the 1970s, the Chinese in diaspora, keyed into reforms in that country, and contributed to making China an economic capital.

The minister, who spoke against the backdrop of government's effort to enhance the nation's investment drive, said in spite of the nation's security challenges, a lot had been achieved.

He said though some investors were concerned about Boko Haram activities in parts of the country the "Chinese and Indians are trooping into Nigeria, because what others see as challenges, they see as opportunities.

"They are investing in all areas of the economy," Maku added.

Speaking in a similar vein, Mr Bimbo Robert, the Chairman of the Central Association of Nigerians in UK (CANUK) called on the federal government to set up a Diaspora Commission.

He said the Nigerian diaspora group was a major stakeholder for development.

Robert said such platformS would enable those in diaspora to key into government development agenda.

"India, for example, has a Ministry of Diaspora, we can also have one, in view of our number, and remittances back home," he said.

More than two million Nigerians live in the UK.


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