WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE BY EKITI PARAPO DIASPORA GROUP ON MONDAY, MAY 5TH, 2021.
- Group advocates for conversion of Office of the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Diaspora Affairs to a fully-fledged agency or commission.
According to reports, the International Bank for Reconstruction & Development (IBRD), a.k.a World Bank estimated that global remittances grew by 10% to $689Billion (2017:$633Billion) in 2018, with developing countries receiving 77% or $551Billion of the total inflows. India, China, Mexico, the Philippines, Egypt and Nigeria are among the largest remittance recipients globally, collectively accounting for approximately 39% of total inflows.
It, therefore, underscores the place of Diaspora in national development. This may be the singular reason the Federal Government of Nigeria under the current leadership thought it wise to grant autonomy to the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission as a fully-fledged agency backed by the National Assembly Act.
Today, states are following the footstep of the Federal Government as Abia State leader, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is set to grant full autonomy to the Office of the Senior Special Adviser on Diaspora as a Commission. The Office which hitherto is advisory is to transmute from its role to a standalone agency that oversees such activities of Abia State indigenes in the Diaspora to bring more development into the State. Already, the House of Assembly of the State had concluded every legislation to see it come to fruition. And the official launch of the full-fledged Abia State Diaspora Commission is set to hold in a couple of days.
In the light of this positive development, the Èkìtì Parapò in the Diaspora will like to call on the government of Èkìtì State under the able leadership of Dr John Kayode Fayemi to promote the Office of the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Diaspora Affairs to a fully-fledged agency or commission. We have been keenly interested in the activities of the current governor’s aide on Diaspora Affairs. Without fear of contradiction, he has proven his mettle beyond a reasonable doubt in the way he engages Ekiti indigenes in the Diaspora to look in the direction of the state in their contributions to its economic development. It, therefore, should be mentioned that being the only one who’s saddled with this enormous international responsibility can be ineffectual at the end of it all, hence the need to upgrade his office into an agency, if not a commission.
It is the strong belief of the Group that the State leader, being a former Diasporan himself has a firm knowledge of the opportunities and advantages Èkìtì State stands to garner from its citizens in the Diaspora. With the potential of the Diaspora wherewithal, the State requires a proper, well-staffed and well-remunerated agency or commission that will oversee the affairs of this all-important sector in the overall interest of the citizenry.
The Ekiti Parapo in the Diaspora is aware of the giant strides of the Governor in attracting more foreign investments into the State through the various sectors of the State’s economy, especially the agricultural value chain. A feat that was never achieved by any government in the history of the State. This very commendable move is what the Èkìtì Indigenes in the Diaspora which comprise professionals and non-professionals across the globe are set out to complement. The Group is poised to unleash its potential for the development of the State because ‘ilé l’àbò sinmi oko’ – home is the eventual abode after every sojourn.
The Èkìtì in the Diaspora group will, among other benefits, contribute immensely in the areas of;
🔸Increasing the State’s Gross Domestic Products- GDP
🔸Augmenting State’s Internally Generated Revenue – IGR
🔸Providing additional employment opportunities to the working population
Aside from the above, engaging us in the Diaspora will have a beneficial trickle-down effect for the home state – Èkìtì. If for anything, the major interest that drives Diaspora is hung around the perceived importance of the transnational population in the development process.
The economic involvement of Diaspora summed up under ‘5Ts’ – transportation, trade, telecommunications, tourism and transmission of monetary remittances will enable Èkìtì State to make the most use of her Diaspora potential. And therefore, the need to put mechanisms in place that will remove bureaucratic bottlenecks that constitute challenges is fundamentally germane. Granting autonomy for a full-fledged agency or commission will go a long way to address this need.
The Office of the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) on Diaspora Affairs, if and when granted such autonomy can set up a database of Èkìtì Diasporas and organizations across the globe. There are businesses spread across the State and even in other states within the Federation owned by Èkìtì Diasporas. Information about such businesses can be garnered to use same to bring about development. Èkìtì indigenes are reputed for intellectual prowess. Educationally, the State’s indigenes are at the forefront. There are thousands of Èkìtì indigenes in the Diaspora who have excelled in their various fields and can make a meaningful impact on their home economy if given the chance. This is termed integrating Diaspora inputs into endogenous growth projects that represent real added value for the State economy.
We, therefore, call on our State leader, Governor (Dr.) John Kayode Fayemi to heed the clarion call and break another milestone in the annals of democratic governance in the State by granting autonomy for a full-fledged Diaspora Commission in the State.
Long live Èkìtì State!
Long live Nigeria!
Ekiti Parapo Diaspora Group.