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Ondo to hold diaspora summit on ‘mobilising resources for development’

Ondo to hold diaspora summit on ‘mobilising resources for development’
November 24
15:02 2023

The Ondo state government has announced a two-day diaspora summit to “mobilise resources for rapid and sustainable local growth and development”.

The summit which will be held virtually will take place on December 2 and 9.

In a statement issued on Friday, Bayo Ologbese, Ondo commissioner for regional integration and diaspora relations, said the summit is organised with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union Commission.

Ologbese said the summit is routed through the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) Phase II programme led by Wale Edun, minister of finance, and is also supported by the office of the senior special assistant to President Bola Tinubu on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Ologbese said the summit will bring together government officials and investment/development experts, who will showcase opportunities in the state and encourage the diaspora community to “seize them”, particularly in critical sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, education, technology, and infrastructure.

“The project acknowledges the crucial contributions of the Nigerian diaspora community to the country’s development,” the statement reads.

“Last year, Nigeria received $21.9 billion in diaspora home remittances through official channels, surpassing the value of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by fourfold.”

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Ologbese said the summit will feature panel discussions on topics related to investment opportunities in the south-west state and how the diaspora can “leverage them for a mutually beneficial commercial and developmental outcome”.

Scheduled speakers at the summit include senior federal and state government officials, investors and development experts, entrepreneurs, members of the diaspora, and representatives of international development partners.

Ologbese said the summit is an indication that the Rotimi Akeredolu-led government is serious and committed to enhancing the state’s relationship with its diaspora.

The commissioner noted that the summit will provide an opportunity for the state to fully harness the financial capacity of its diaspora community.

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Ologbese added that the state achieved a milestone in 2022 when it became the first state in the south-west to secure the approval of the federal government on the establishment of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) office in Akure, the Ondo capital.

Gbenga Badejo, director-general of the Ondo Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA), who leads the team organising the summit, said the event will generate innovative solutions to address issues pivotal to the advancement of the state.

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