President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigerians in the diaspora brought over $25 billion annually as home remittances to the Nigerian economy through official and non-formal channels over the past three years.

Buhari spoke in a video message to commemorate this year’s Diaspora Day observed on July 25 of every year.

The president, who urged to them not to abandon their fatherland in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, implored Nigerians in the diaspora to actively participate in the country’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery efforts.

“This (home remittances) is about 6.0% of our annual GDP and upwards of 80% of our annual budget.

“This has impacted on livelihoods of Nigerians in terms of education, health, housing and estate development, industry, trade and investments, agriculture and technology/skills transfer.

“In terms of diaspora home remittances, Nigeria is rated as number one in sub-Saharan Africa and this is still growing especially with the advocacy and mobilization programmes of the newly established Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM),’’ he said in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.

The Chairman/CEO of NiDCOM, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the focus of the 2020 celebration was indicative of the mandate of NiDCOM as well as what the agency had accomplished since its creation.

She said the commission was working with the National Assembly to make diaspora voting a reality.

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