As Nigerians await the thrilling year of 2023 to see who succeeds President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock, Nigerians in Diaspora can make impactful contributions by blackmailing, arm twisting their wards to shun cultic partisanship and vote to elect the right Individual as president come 2023. Our votes are going to count and there is proper planning on going to ensure every Nigerian home and abroad will contribute to voting the right individuals.
Diasporans seem not to understand the mighty power of influence they have over the recipients of their sustaining largesse. Every diasporan has direct influence over not less than 20 votes directly or indirectly and can insist that their families, friends and siblings vote for improved conditions of life and a robust economy which would decrease the burden on diasporans that are duty bound struggling to sustain their wards in Nigeria.
It is worthy of note for the purposes of my epistle, that the diaspora contributes almost 90% of the mainstay of the southern Nigeria population. Diaspora remittance to Nigeria rose by 11.2 per cent in 2021 to $19.2bn from the $17.21bn recorded in 2020. The figure was the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which recorded a 14.1 per cent leap to $49bn. This was contained in the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief released recently, and these are just official figures from the approved channels of remittance. Think about the cash that flows in through unofficial channels. Seems to me like $35-40 billion would be a safe figure to assume.
The common act of sending money back home resonates greatly with Nigerians in the diaspora. Nigeria is reportedly the largest recipient of diaspora remittance in Sub-Saharan Africa, as remittance to Nigeria now constitutes a significant part of the country’s GDP.
According to Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance, budget, and national planning, it disclosed that diaspora remittances were among the top sources of non-oil foreign exchange for the nation. In the period under review, a sum of $23.3 million was recorded as remittance outflow from Nigeria, indicating a net inflow of $10.09 billion in H1 2022 as against a net value of $9.99 billion recorded in H2 2021 and $9.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2021.
The World Bank had earlier projected that Nigeria’s Diaspora remittance inflow will increase by 7.1 percent in 2022, which is reflecting the gains of the continued adoption of official bank channels and the expectation that more Nigerians who have migrated will likely send more money home to support families in the face of an increase in the cost of living.
The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN in December 2020 introduced measures to encourage Diaspora Nigerians to send their remittances through the banking system.
In one of its measures, the Central Bank introduced the Naira4Dollar scheme in February 2021 which offers beneficiaries of remittances N5 naira for every $1 of remittance sent through the bank. Among other things, the measures allow beneficiaries to have unfettered access and utilization to foreign currency proceeds, either in foreign exchange cash and/or in their Domiciliary Accounts.
The number of Nigerians in diaspora has been increasing astronomically over the last five years due to the myriad of problems ravaging the country. Also, the high level of unemployment (33% and youth unemployment at almost 60%), the insecurity crisis, and the incessant ASUU strike which has crippled the educational system in the country, have all contributed to the surge in the migration of Nigerians to other parts of the world.
This should be more than enough reason for diasporans to insist and ensure that their wards vote wisely and accordingly. If they refuse or display cultic partisan followership, let them go to the political party that has brainwashed and mind controlled them for their needs. Cease sending money to stupid wards who prefer to support the same people who are responsible for the misery and underdevelopment that have made them become dependent on you.
Written By Duruebube Uzii na Abosi, (Oblong) Nnadi-Oforgu,