The President of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), Professor Okey Oramah, has suggested ways that Nigeria can boost diaspora participation in the country’s economy.
While commending the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor for the current reforms taking place with regard to diaspora remittances, Oramah said that more participation can be gotten from Nigerians in the diaspora through specialized funds and accounts that will encourage them to save their long-term funds in Nigeria.
This disclosure was made by Oramah while speaking at a webinar organized by Fidelity Bank Plc, entitled, “The New FX Policy, Implications and Positive Impact on Diaspora Investments,” over the weekend.
What the President of Afreximbank is saying
Oramah in his speech said, “Africans and Nigerians can consider allowing special diaspora foreign currency accounts with higher interest rates than the US or Europe and with an inbuilt guarantee against potential losses from bank failures and country risks.
“Afreximbank would be happy to work with authorities to put in place a country risk guarantee that can be retailed to diasporas depositing money in such foreign currency account. We have done something similar in Zimbabwe.
“Secondly, designated commercial banks may be encouraged to implement diaspora targeted certificates of deposits that can be liquidated in local currencies or foreign currencies with built-in incentives to encourage liquidation in local currencies.
“Thirdly, is a properly structured diaspora fund that can be issued with eligible bondholders encouraged to open coupon payment accounts locally in Nigeria to enable them to cover local expenses and support their relatives at home.”
Oramah stated that by creating the requisite environment, the diaspora could become a catalytic force that would break the development barriers and rapidly transform the country and the continent.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that in a bid to boost forex liquidity and provide an incentive for diaspora remittances, the CBN through a circular dated March 5, 2021, stated that all recipients of diaspora remittances through the apex bank’s licensed IMTOs shall henceforth be paid N5 for every $1 received as remittance inflow as an incentive.
- The new policy initiative which is with effect from Monday, March 8 and end on Saturday, May 8, 2021, means for instance if an individual sends you $10,000, you will get an additional special credit alert of N50,000.