By Omonu Nelson
In the last three years, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, have reported that Remittances into Nigeria cofers hovers around 25 billion dollars. This translates to about 6.1 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and about 83 percent of Nigeria’s annual budget. The above figure translates to Nigeria receiving the highest Diaspora Remittances in Sub Saharan Africa.
Most economists believe, Diaspora Nigerians are Nigeria’s biggest export and constitutes the biggest pool of experts.
To improve on Diaspora Remittances, the Federal Government streamlined Diaspora activities by creating a Commission to oversea and coordinate Diasporan affairs.
NIDCOM has since initiated the process of creating a data bank for Nigerians abroad. Not done, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, also went a bit further to enact a policy that will simplify the process of receiving cash sent from abroad.
However, this bubble is about to burst as the insecurity pervading the land may become a ‘scare factor.’ Apart from sending money back home, the Diaspora Nigerians love to visit home from time to time as a way of boosting their presence, report card or validating their decision to seek greener pasture abroad.
One death, kidnap too many is soiling this bubble. Except something is done urgently to arrest the problem of insecurity, Nigeria may loose the huge benefits it derives from Diaspora Remittances and experrise.
Few examples, it will surface to drive home this point. During the last Yuletide, Prince Eloniyo Dennis Abuda from Fugar in Etsako Central Local Government of Edo State, who lives in the United States visited home for Christmas.
On his way back to Lagos on the 30th of January, 2021, he was kidnapped along with three members of his family.
Alas, the kidnappers still killed him after collecting ransom of forty million naira (40m), but the other 3 were released.
Still during the last Yuletide, unknown gunmen killed a Saudi Arabia-based oil expert, working with Saudi national oil firm, Aramco, Ogacheko Atanu, in his Idah residence of Kogi State. Mr Atanu met his gruesome death, when he was about retiring to bed and the eve of his depature.It was also gathered that when the assassins stormed the residence of the victim, he was asked to say his last prayers before he was shot many times.
Except the ugly security trend is arrested and urgently too, Nigeria may loose her enviable Diaspora Remittances record.