Nigerians in diaspora are the new national heroes and heroines and greatest stakeholders The news that our diaspora brothers and sisters remitted $35billion in one year is astonishingly instructive.
Firstly it means that Nigeria is raking in more money from citizens in diaspora than what we earn in oil.
On the average we export about 1.8m barrels of oil per day. Unofficial figures put it much less. Even at a high price of $50 per barrel , we get approximately $33billion per annum from oil export. Further more, Nigeria actually gets only 60% (or $20billion) of total oil export revenues, the joint venture partners receive the balance 40%.
This fact confirms what many have said that no natural resource is greater in terms of national wealth creation than its intellectual and human resources. Japan, with its very low population and disproportionate global high ranking economy, (3rd or 4th largest economy in the world) is the most powerful testimony of this incontrovertible fact.
From the above it becomes sheer indolence for us to continue to behave as if our lives and survival as a nation depends on crude oil.
In fact, following from this fact, Nigeria should divert its energy and resources towards upgrading the standard of education in the country, and officially encourage our young graduates to go abroad to work, even if for a given period, to earn money for the nation.
Also our embassies should immediately be reorganise to achieve this objective and empowered to actively support the welfare and wellbeing of Nigerians in diaspora. Our foreign policy should also reflect this new thinking, by encouraging bilateral relations and international alliances that support a new policy drive to export our intellectual and human resources abroad.
This is not wholly a new idea or novelty in the world, India and Philippine have for several decades pursued this policy aggressively but silently.
Lastly, deriving from this new Revelations and realisations, the Nigerians in the diaspora are our greatest assets and stakeholders and should be treated as such. Therefore, preventing diaspora Nigerians from voting ought to be a criminal offence from 2019. From whom so much is coming, a little should be given back. It is obvious that one of the invisible pillars of the inexplicable resilience of the Nigerian economy, is this humongous foreign cash inflows from Diaspora Nigerians.
I join millions of Nigerians to thank and congratulate our brothers and sisters abroad who toil under severe and often degrading conditions and still care enough to remit part of their hard earned incomes to relatives and friends back home. We are proud of you.
God bless you all . God bless Nigeria.