For Nigeria to prosper and survive in the face of global economic meltdown, Chairman, All Nigerians in Diaspora (Anid worldwide), Amb. Abiodun Brainard has said the leadership of the country must allow Nigerians in the Diaspora to play a part in the country’s socioeconomic development.
Abiodun Brainard who is passionate about the growth of Nigeria and its creative-minded youths from different walks of life observed that Nigerians in the diaspora represent a huge reservoir of human and financial capital and an important bridge between itself and the African continent.
According to him, one of the main areas of concern relating to the involvement of the people living outside the country in the development of the nation is that of building bridges between the nation and the Diaspora, adding that people of Nigerian descent in the Diaspora are always willing to connect and make a difference.
He observed that for Nigeria’s economy to successfully transition from its current state, one such opportunity that is grossly underutilized is engagement of its Diaspora community, saying one of the main challenges is the lack of data on Nigerians outside the country.
“It has been suggested that for purposes of harnessing the Nigeria diaspora to support transformative development, the nation needs to be more systematic, structured and strategic in its engagement with its diaspora. Many opportunities for the diaspora to contribute to the development of the nation remain unexploited largely because of the lack of proper coordination and the inability to envision the importance of the diaspora beyond remittances.”
According to him, “Any country wishing to successfully engage with its diaspora, and therefore leverage its development potential, should strengthen its role in bringing them together”, he said.