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Zenith Bank MD calls for diaspora investment in Nigeria’s health sector

Zenith Bank MD calls for diaspora investment in Nigeria’s health sector
November 17
12:38 2021

Ebenezer Onyeagwu, group managing director and chief executive officer of Zenith Bank Plc, has called for increased collaboration of Nigerians in the diaspora for the nation to achieve its economic growth targets.

He spoke on Tuesday at the 4th edition of the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit 2021 organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM).

The summit was themed ‘Partnership and Linkages for Post Covid Economic Growth’.

Onyeagwu said the summit’s theme was apt as it emphasised Nigeria’s need for robust growth following the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which triggered a severe macroeconomic shock.

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He said there was a need for partnership and collaboration of Nigerians in the diaspora to achieve Nigeria’s economic growth targets, particularly during these challenging times.

According to him, the diaspora community plays a critical role in their home country’s economic growth and development.

The GMD identified the healthcare sector as one area where diaspora investment and intervention are urgently required.

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“By leveraging the expertise of our diaspora healthcare professionals in some of the emerging world-class health facilities in Nigeria, such as Evercare Hospital, Ibom Specialist Hospital and Base University Hospital, we can begin to curb the loss of foreign exchange to medical tourism,” he said.

He, therefore, called on the various associations and groups of Nigerians in the diaspora to pull resources together and identify viable investment opportunities in the homeland.

He noted that Nigeria has enormous potential to attract significant diaspora inflow, most of which comes in through informal channels.

He further said the remittance inflows and investments, which are counter-cyclical, help in ameliorating foreign exchange challenges as the funds form a significant buffer for the country’s foreign reserves.

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Onyeagwu urged that narrative should shift from diaspora remittance to diaspora direct investment as advocated by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman of NiDCOM and Emeka Offor, acting executive secretary/chief executive officer, Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission(NIPC).

The GMD also commended the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for leading with policies that created an enabling environment for investment in Nigeria such as the ‘Naira 4 Dollar Scheme’.

He said the policy contributed to boosting diaspora remittances by providing incentives for recipients of international money transfers, which encouraged the senders and recipients to channel inflows through the official market, knowing that they will not be shortchanged.

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