THE Federal Government, on Wednesday confirmed that Nigerians living and working in Diaspora remitted $21 billion to the country in 2015.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, who made this known in Abuja, said their remittances under the auspices of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) was a major contribution to the nation’s economy.
Lawal spoke at a news conference to mark the 2016 Diaspora Day conference scheduled to hold from July 24 to 26 at the International Conference Centre.
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, will on July 25 declare the conference open and the Ministers of Finance and Foreign Affairs are expected to make presentations at the event.
SGF noted that the conference, which was an annual event, provided opportunity for Nigerians in the Diaspora to interact with the Federal Government and state authorities to address challenges in the country.
Ambassador Olukunle Bamgbose, a permanent secretary in the Office of the SGF, briefed newsmen on behalf of Mr Lawal, disclosing that NIDO branches were virtually in all the major countries of the world.
Lawal said the organisation was particularly strong in Brazil, Germany, United Kingdom, United States of America and in Singapore.
According to him, the 2016 Diaspora Day conference would be diametrically different from past experiences where participants come home to highlight the challenges that confront the country.
He said: “The government and citizens of Nigeria at home are not ignorant of our challenges as a nation, what our nation requires are solutions to specific problems.