The Federal Government on Thursday said the nation had witnessed improvement in the global Gross Domestic Product ranking from number 44th in 2010 to 36th in 2012 and had recorded significant improvements in economic fundamentals as a result of the reform embarked upon by it.
While calling on Nigerians in the Diaspora to bring their investments home and assist in improving the country’s Foreign Direct Investment, the government also claimed that the economy grew by about 6.6 per cent last year.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who was represented by Vice-President Namadi Sambo, said this while declaring open the 6th National Diaspora Day Conference organised by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in Abuja.
The conference had as its theme, ‘Diaspora Nigerians –Agents of investment and development.’
“We have further reduced our fiscal deficit in the 2013 budget to 1.81 per cent of the GDP and significantly cut domestic borrowing,” Jonathan said.
The 6.6 per cent economic growth, he said, was by far one of the fastest growth rates obtainable worldwide.
He also applauded Nigerians in the Diaspora, who had responded positively to the call for greater involvement in the nation building process, adding that they should be very proud for their remittances and investments in Nigeria’s fast-growing stock market, real estate and other business ventures.
The President said, “We are creating an enabling environment to attract both foreign and local investors into the country. Nigerians in Diaspora must now respond positively to the invitation to come home and contribute to the development of this nation.
“As a concrete step towards achieving our objectives, this year’s Diaspora conference should be greatly focused and result-oriented. The success of countries such as India, China, Pakistan, Thailand and the Philippines, which have strategically engendered the Diaspora as a mechanism to accelerate national development, is an excellent model for us to understudy.
“The Indian experience, in particular, has shown that Diaspora communities are important sources of Foreign Direct Investments, trade linkages, knowledge and technology transfer. Having lived abroad and embraced international best practices, Nigerians in Diaspora possess the requisite experience, expertise and contacts to contribute to all facets of our national life.
Information from Punch was used in this report.