STAKEHOLDERS BRAINSTORM ON EASE OF REMITTANCES IN ABUJA

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Stakeholders in the Africa diaspora remittances began a two-day Regional
Consultative Meeting on Leveraging Remittances in Abuja.

The meeting being coordinated by the Africa Institute for Remittances
(AIR) in collaboration with Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM)
has as its theme: The Role of Regional Economic Committees (RECs),
Fintechs and Remittance Service Providers (RSPs) on promoting Integrated
Regional Approach.

It is an inclusive approach to bring all relevant stakeholders together
to examine the strategies and challenges of Diaspora Remittances in
Africa.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Sule Yakubu Bassi who represented the
Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa
challenged the gathering to look into urgent needs as it relates to
diaspora remittances.

“The issue of the high cost of money transfers to Africa which is up to 8
percent, the issue of unrecorded transfers through informal channels
and the need to metamorphose diaspora remittances from social safety
nets to real investment for development”, he stressed.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria has always valued and cherished the
Diaspora especially in terms of human capital resources and the positive
values they add to our Nation which makes them an important sector of
economic development, ” Bassi added.

Dr. Mohammed Tumala, Director of Statistics, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),
in his own opening remarks described the meeting as an avenue that will
open doors for the apex bank to interact with the Diaspora.

“We have studied the flow patterns of remittances from the side of
Nigeria. Now we need to understand the issues and challenges from the
side of the Diaspora to create enabling environment for their
contributions to National development,” he said.

Amadou Cisse, Executive Director, AIR, commended the Federal Government
of Nigeria through its Agency, NiDCOM for its commitment to remittance
development.

“The establishment of NiDCOM as well as the adoption of the National
Diaspora Policy are critical milestones that show the strong commitment
of the government to engage its diaspora for the social and economic
development of the economy. “

These are in perfect harmony with the current work of the AIR, ” he
stressed.

Cisse added that this inclusive approach of collaborating with key
stakeholders like Public Institutions, Private Sector Operators,
International Organisations, Diaspora Organisations, and other
stakeholders aims at providing the AU member states with the required
strategic tool to reap the potential benefits of remittances.

He noted that the active participation of the Diaspora in designing and
implementing development programs is considered one of the key
drivers towards attaining the institute’s objectives.

AIR is a specialized technical office of the African Union Commission
(AUC) established to assist AU member states.

Its mandate includes regulation of remittance, promoting reforms and
regulatory frameworks for remittances in the use of innovative
technologies to improve compilation and reporting systems as well as
leveraging diaspora resources for social development.

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