The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, Americas (NIDOA) has disclosed plans to “redirect” one per cent of its members’ annual remittances towards “impact sustainable development” in Nigeria.
This is part of a 10-year vision unfolded by the organisation at its 2019 Annual General Meeting held recently in Texas, United States.
The plan is expected to run from 2019 till 2029, according to a communiqué signed by NIDOA’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Zee Nagberi.
Estimates by the World Bank put the current total diaspora remittances to Nigeria at 25 billion dollars annually, with the figure projected to hit 34 billion dollars by 2023.
Records of aggregate remittances by Nigerians in South and North America are not readily available.
But according to the World Bank Group’s Migration and Remittances Fact book 2016, remittances from the U.S. alone to Nigeria stood at 5.7 billion dollars (N2 trillion) in 2015.
One per cent of that would translate into N20 billion per annum.
NIDOA listed other aspects of the vision to include acceleration of its ICT training programme you Nigerian youth launched in 2016, and its skills acquisition programme for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Others are partnership with relevant government agencies to drive the ongoing Diaspora National Identity Number registration, and skill audit of Nigerian professionals in the Americas.
Meanwhile, the African Union Ambassador to the United States, Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quao, has sued for unity among Africans in the Diaspora.
Chihombori-Quao, who was the special guest of honour at the AGM, urged them to galvanise their enormous resources towards the development of the continent, according to the communiqué.
Similarly, a member of the Texas State House Representatives, Jarvis Johnson II, called for partnership between African immigrants and African Americans to “leverage our economic power.”
The forum witnessed the inauguration of new executives for the Board of Trustees (BoT) and Board of Directors (BOD) of NIDOA, the communique said.
They include the reelected BoT Chairman, Mr Obed Monago; Mr. Isaac Inyang as Chairman of the BOD, and Mr Odion Ojo as the BOD Vice Chairman, among others.