The Rector, Villanova Polytechnic, Imesi Ile, Osun State, Prof. Ikechukwu Anthony Kanu has called on the federal government to create an atmosphere at home that helps those who are in diaspora to thrust their investment at home.
Kanu who made this call in a lecture entitled, “Migration, Remittances and National Development”, which he delivered recently at the Global Migration Summit organized by the Journalists International for Migration (JIFORM) said that the Nigerian government was not only to develop national policy for migration as produced in 2015 but to see how these policies could be made to be effective in the land adding unless that was done, Nigeria would not reap the best out of migration.
He stated that migration was yet a very source of economic development but it all depends on the ability of the government to fulfill her own part as an instinct of migration governance saying, “If we do that, then migration will turn out to be another oil well. “
In his words, “When we talk about economic development in relation to migration, it brings us to the idea of the remittances and when we talk about remittances, we simply mean the monies that those in diaspora send home for those who are at home for several reasons actually but remittances has gone beyond economic remittances in terms of money. Remittance is also about social remittances in terms of the values that they bring home, the culture, the customs that they bring home and when you study the statistics of remittances, you can discover that Nigeria in 2019 made over 25 billion Dollars from migration remittances. And if you made that based on those who have travelled it then means that migration is a very serious stuff for economic development for our nation.
“And even right here in Africa, of all the remittances that came into the sub Saharan Africa, 65 percent comes back to Nigeria while all the other countries in the sub Saharan Africa have only 35 percent. Which means that for us as a nation, migration is not something we should take very lightly, it is a very serious stuff of development.
“How can we enhance this? It is very simple; the federal government must create an atmosphere at home that helps those who are in diaspora to thrust their investment at home. The Nigerian government is not only to develop national policy for migration as we have in 2015 but to see how these policies can be made to be effective in our land and unless that is done, Nigeria will not reap the best out of migration.”
Kanu who is also a Professor of Religion and Cultural Studies and President, Association for the Promotion of African Studies pointed out that the prosperity of countries such as China, Korea, Pakistan, India, and so on which was linked to the leading role played by her Diaspora in attracting foreign investment should be a good reminder of the important role that the government could play in creating the conducive environment for the contribution of the Diaspora to national development.
“Remittances alone cannot achieve national development if the conditions of those sending and those receiving these moneys are not conducive to development. Most African migrants and Diasporas’ potential to national development have not been harnessed effectively for many reasons including those of unfavorable conditions and insecure environments at home. Socio-economic and political conditions in many African countries are still breeding more desires for emigration with little or no incentive and impetus for return. There is, therefore, the need to promote the transfer of remittances through efficient formal channels at low transfer cost, as well as to encourage senders and recipients to invest part of their savings (National Migration Policy 2015).
“Another way that a nation can impact on the contribution of Diaspora to national development is through concrete efforts to develop or improve the quality of life in home countries. It is obvious that development progress especially at countries of origin creates more opportunities that may in time reduce the urge to emigrate. Likewise, such development progress would attract migrants and Diaspora to return as they see opportunities to apply their skills back home. Nevertheless, development is not aimed at forestalling migration rather it helps to ensure that migration is by choice and not by necessity.
“As a result of poor migration governance by many African nations, African migration story is yet marred by brain drain, and brain waste with their impacts and challenges. The situation makes urgent the need for investment in migration and development management in such a way as to maximize their positive economic and social impacts to the migrants and the African continent at large”, he submitted.
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