Abike Dabiri, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs, said in a broadcast by the Presidency Office of Digital Engagement that Nigerians in the Diaspora remitted $21bn home in 2015.
She added that this was more than all Nigerian states put together raised from internally-generated revenue and also more than the country earned from oil in that year.
— Government of Nigeria (@AsoRock) December 1, 2016
After bigging up Nigerians abroad for their achievements, Dabiri said nothing about what the government could do to facilitate the flow of remittances. The government spends a lot of energy and money on foreign junkets claiming to woo foreign investors, but apparently takes for granted the huge amounts that its citizens abroad are sending back home.
You would expect Dabiri would use her position to explore ways that would ease the flow of cash from Nigerians abroad to relatives back home. It is worth investigating how to reduce the charges by money transfer companies, whether the Central Bank of Nigeria, facing critical foreign exchange shortages, should be involved in handling the remittances or how Nigerian banks could also help ease the flow of money from the diaspora.
But it appears solid policy proposals are tasks beyond Dabiri, who is yet to clarify her role, despite a previous request from Naijiant.com