The Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Sunday the contributions of Nigerians at home and abroad could positively impact the nation’s economy to bring about peaceful coexistence.
Okonjo-Iweala stated this at a webinar to celebrate the National Diaspora Day in Abuja.
The event was organised by the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) to commemorate its establishment and its achievements so far.
In her contribution, the WTO chief applauded Nigerians in Diaspora for their huge contributions to the nation’s economy, citing in particular how their remittances had brought about the development of the rural areas and the sustenance of the economy.
She said: “Let me applaud fellow Nigerians in the Diaspora because they are contributing so much in many ways. The remittance that the Diaspora send home is in millions of dollars and had contributed to sustaining our economy.
“It helps people living in the rural areas to get resources to send their children to school, take care of their health, build and run businesses, but we can do more wherever we are in the Diaspora for there’s no place like home.
“So, what we should be thinking of is how we can help to make things better wherever we are, be it in the village or the town to make things better at home, either through creation of employment, business, a civil society organisation, or helping to support what the local government is trying to do.
“This is what helps to create peace and I am not saying that is all of it, but the fact remains that there are so many young people who do not have jobs and the COVID-19 situation had made that worse with the lockdown.
“I think we should be thinking of what we can do to help improve the economic situation of people at home because that’s what helps to bring peace.
“If we did not have so many disoriented and disorganised unemployed youths, some of the activities that we see at home that are detrimental to peace and security might not happen.”
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, who was also at the forum, said the Federal Government was willing to create an enabling environment that would encourage direct investment by the Diaspora.
Dada added that Nigerians in the Diaspora had continuously shown great dedication with their time, skills, talents, resources, and global exposure to the development of the country.
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