The federal government says it is targeting over 200 investors at the maiden Diaspora investment summit to attract Diaspora investors to come back home and boost Nigerian businesses.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, made this known at the Future of Health Conference organised by the Nigeria Health Watch on Thursday in Abuja.
The conference has its theme as: “The future of health conference: Diaspora as Nigeria’s brain gain’’.
Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, represented by Badewa Williams, an Educational Therapist, said the maiden summit which was organised by her office in collaboration with Nigerian Diaspora Alumni Network, will hold on November 27 to 29.
“We are targeting over 200 investors and we will also invite Nigeria business promoters to present their projects for serious business networking and discussion; hopefully memorandum of understandings.
“The target sectors are healthcare, agricultural businesses, education, entertainment, hospitality and tourism, infrastructure and real estate, manufacturing, telecommunications, transportation, waste management and environmental remediation.
“At the end of the summit we hope to come up with feasible and realistic investment plans and avenues for all Diaspora while coming to Nigeria,’’ she said.
She added that currently, Nigerians in Diaspora remits over N22 billion into the nation through formal channels, however, “the effect is rarely seen’’.
Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said the summit was to identify ready and prospective investment opportunities which Nigerians in the Diaspora can explore to help the private business promoters.
Earlier, Ifeanyi Nsofor, Director Policy and Strategy, Nigeria Health Watch, said it was the time to focus on brain gain.
He added that the event was to see Nigerians who are back from the Diaspora, the challenges they have and their recommendations for other health professionals who are thinking of coming back to Nigeria.
“The conference is like a platform for the discussion to start and hopefully it will be good for the health of Nigerians,’’ he said.
He said the conference 2018 would focus on the Diaspora as Nigeria’s brain gain because health watch acknowledge the issues the Nigerian health sector was facing with doctors seeking opportunities in other countries.
He said the conference would bring attention to the health professionals who are returning to offer insights, knowledge and expertise to improve Nigeria’s health system.
Tony Okoye, National Strategic Programme Manager, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), said the association was working closely with the federal ministry of health to make it better for the medical experts who are returning to the country to offer services and their expertise to the country.
He said the association was determined to create enabling platform for the medical doctors who have gone out to acquire high skills abroad and are willing to come back to contribute to nation building.
“The association in collaboration with key stakeholders will create an online network of specialities to support doctors easily identify partners they will work with.
“NMA collaborates with all the Diaspora medical groups all over the world to make Diaspora brain gain move forward,’’ he said.
He noted that the expertise which Nigerians in Diaspora were bringing home fall within the supply side of the spectrum.
He added NMA was going a step forward to create demand side health care financing; the association was floating a platform to contribute to universal health coverage.
He said NMA has put forward health equity fund to finance the supply chain coming into the country from the Diaspora, adding that the fund will also serve as collateral for equipment supply companies.