Nigerians Living Abroad remit $10.4bn in first half of 2014 – Okonjo-Iweala


rp_Okonjo-Iweala.jpgThe Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Tuesday said that Nigerians in Diaspora remitted the sum of $10.4bn into the country within the first six months of this year.

A statement by the minister’s Special Adviser on Communications, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, said the amount included remittances to families, friends, communities, medical missions and provision of scholarships.

The statement quoted Okonjo-Iweala as saying that in response to the long-standing desire of Nigerians in the Diaspora to support economic development in the country, a high level ‘Executive-Legislative’ team was currently holding a series of interactive sessions with Nigerians in Europe and the United States.

She added, “The sessions are organised by the Debt Management Office, led by its Director-General, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo. It will be recalled that Nigerians in the Diaspora have been seeking ways and means to contribute more to the country’s development.”

It further said, “This interest is backed by substantial capacity: the value of remittances from Nigerians abroad in 2013 was $20.77bn; for the first half of 2014 it was $10.40bn. This includes contributions through remittances to their families, friends and communities, medical missions and provision of scholarships.”

The minister noted that the experience of countries such as Israel and India had shown that Nigerians in the Diaspora were a force to be reckoned with in the growth and development of any country, especially in the area of funding of critical development projects, among others.

Consequently, she said the Federal Government’s current efforts were being directed at providing similar opportunities for Nigerians in the Diaspora.