PETER Obi, former governor of Anambra State, has called on Nigerians in Diaspora to develop full interest in what happens in Nigeria, arguing that the task of developing Nigeria is for all Nigerians. Obi spoke on Sunday at the inaugural investment conference themed: “Investing in Nigeria from the Diaspora: Challenges and Opportunities “, organized by the Nigerian American Business Forum, NABF, at Tampa, Florida.
The former governor, who took time to compare the economies of many countries – China, Indonesia, India, Philippines, South Korea, Malaysia and that of Nigeria – submitted with empirical examples, how, the problem of Nigeria could be said to be that of “leadership failure,” over the years. Obi said that nothing those countries did was “rocket science”, but that they did not only set goals for themselves, but that their leaders and followers understood the goals and remained focused pursuing those goals. He emphasized the need for leaders to save and always realize that a country that does not save is not conscious of the future and may likely bequeath anarchy rather than hope.
Obi thanked the organizers for thinking about Nigeria, saying he was satisfied, since ” the very act of thinking about the rot in the country is a proof that Nigerians are becoming aware of the missing link in the development of the country. Once a people start re-orientating their consciousness towards developmental needs, their salvation could be said to be at sight.” Using the history of Indians and Jews as examples, he said it was the history of a people whose diasporas never forgot homes.
He expressed optimism that a more organized diaspora group as represented by NABF would assist in re-channeling the energy among them homewards for the development of Nigeria. His words: “Nigeria diaspora remittances, now estimated at nearly $23 billion per annum, are second only to oil as source of national revenue. Incidentally, most of these remittances are informal and uncategorized. Yet we cannot discount its value and the good it can do to nation-building if properly leveraged. Nigeria as it is, offers a huge demographic and consumer market.”
Earlier, NABF made presentations through many work groups, comprising Nigerians that have distinguished themselves in various fields.
The conference was attended by many Nigerians in the USA and From home, namely, Sen. Ben Bruce, Mr. Sen. Ola Ogunbanjo, Sen. Mohammed Lafiagi, Berny Dorhmann, Fela Durutoye, among others.
The President of NABF, Mr. Kenneth Olakunle Shobola thanked all that contributed to the success of the conference and assured that all the recommendation and ideas thrown up would be carefully studied, analyses and followed up.
– Jan. 30, 2018 @ 03:32 GMT