Saturday 15th July breath a new lease of life for Nigerians in Diaspora as a programme, packaged to help Diaspora-Nigerians looking to return home was launched. The event which was held in London, United Kingdom had in attendance representative of the Federal Government of Nigeria in person of Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa who is also the Special Adviser to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, also in attendance were Dr. Olumdie Ajayi, Director of ALF, Professor Abass (representing Lagos State), Chief Bimbo Roberts Folayan, Executive Director of NDDIS and Mr. David Smith< Executive Chairman of British African Business Association (BABA) as well as other dignitaries.
The programme, according to the Dr. Ajayi is a three-fold offer which seeks to help Nigerians in the Diaspora and those looking to return home to establish business or invest in existing enterprises. This program will help guide them and also assist them in acclimatizing with the local business terrain. The program is broken down into the Diaspora Adaptive Program (DAP), Portfolio Investment Scheme and the Direct Ownership Investment (DOI). It is packaged by the Africa Leadership Forum.
In her speech, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa lauded the idea and described it as a good initiative and channel for the Nigerian Diaspora. Over the years, the struggle of doing business in Nigeria after returning from a long stay abroad has been decried, this is largely due to inability of the returnees to adapt to the terrain. With this initiative however, that would soon be a thing of the past.
She went on to describe the recent steps and initiatives of the Federal Government to assist Nigerians in Diaspora. This include the setting up of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission. There is also the Diaspora Housing programme which has been launched in two states of the federation. The Government is also developing the Diaspora Health Initiative in conjunction with Nigerian Medical Doctors in Diaspora. She also mentioned that her office has signed an MoU with Bank of Industry to make available loans for interested Diaspora-Nigerians who are returning home can tap into.
Professor Abas, while speaking on behalf of the Lagos State government, emphasized the readiness of the state to ensure that the process will be a smooth one people who are interested to take the advantage of the program. He further gave his word that Lagos state is in full support of the new initiative being launched by ALF and NDDIS.
Hon. Dabiri-Erewa in her closing remarks commended the FG of Nigeria for its role in ensuring that viable opportunities are created for Nigeria both at home and abroad. She then formally launched the programme and encouraged the Nigerians in UK to take advantage of it.
More pictures after the cut.
ALF Exec. Director, Dr Olumide Ajayi giving his presentation, as Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa launched the Diaspora Integration and Investment Support Scheme (DISS), a three-fold program to offer investment opportunities to Nigerians living in the diaspora. The program is packaged by the Africa Leadership Forum. The document was launched in London on the 15th of July.Posted by Africa Leadership Forum on Wednesday, July 19, 2017