Records show that there are conservatively over 7-10 millon Diaspora Nigerians around the world.
In the US alone, there are over 356,000 Nigerians residing in the US (Official documentation). It is even argued that the number may top 500,000 by the time you add the undocumented Nigerian immigrants in the US.
Records also show that these Nigerian immigrants are the most educated immigrants in the US. 4% of them have education up to the PhD level. 23% of them have education up to Masters Degree level and the remaining immigrants have atleast college education. There literacy level is 100%.
Annually, this estimated 7m-10m Diaspora Nigerians in the US and other parts of the world formally remit over $25billion/N9trillion into Nigeria. By the time you add informal remittances, which is estimated to be as much as the formal remittances, you will have have a total remittance figure in the range of $25-$45billion/N9-18trillion.
In 2018, the total revenue earned by the FGN was N3.8trillion/$10.49billion. Note that this revenue included revenues from crude oil sales, FIRS returns, customs returns etc.
Note also that we wasted and squandered over $10-12billion/N3.8trillion importing refined petroleum products (the annual criminal subsidies payment of over N900bn to 1.4trillion is not even included in this squandered $10-12bn ).
GRAVE IMPLICATIONS OF THE ABOVE STATISTICS.
From the above statistics, you will see clearly that without diaspora remittances (both formal and informal), this country would have long been worse than VENEZUELA. We practically and factually do not generate enough dollar earnings from exports (both oil and non oil exports) to even subsidize and pay for our refined petroleum imports. Not to talk of the import of millions of tons of food items into Nigeria. Without the backing of these diaspora remittances in shoring up our foreign reserve, most FDIs will never come anywhere near Nigeria.
Remove Diaspora inflows and this jungle is gone. Totally gone.
SO, WHY IS IT DIFFICULT FOR NIGERIA AND OUR MAXIMUM RULERS TO ACCOMMODATE THE INPUT OF THESE VALUABLE DIASPORA NIGERIANS IN DETERMINING WHO MANAGES THIS HUGE RESOURCES THEY REMIT INTO THIS JUNGLE ANNUALLY?
Why are the various Nigerians in Diaspora Groups in Americas , Asia , Europe and other parts of the world not agitating and pilling pressure on the political class and foreign powers to pressure our rulers to do the right things ? AMEND THE ELECTORAL ACTS NOW TO ALLOW FOR FULL ELECTRONIC AND DIASPORA VOTING.
How can the choice of who manages and administers the huge resources of these 7-10million vastly educated, hardworking, enlightened, exposed and literate Nigerians in Diaspora (across the three tiers and arms of government ), be left in the hands of over 10 million illiterate, dumb,plate clutching, beggarly and vastly ignorant, who will always vote for dumb and daft folks like them, who donate loaves of bread to them on election day ?
Nigeria is at a cross road today because the best of us are being ruled by a significant number the worst of us (with few exceptions). Across the length and breadth of Nigeria , it is the same sordid tale.
The fuedal political establishments in Nigeria in the will always fight against diaspora participation in our elections because the vote of most of these Diaspora Nigerians will help to neutralize the ignorant and illiterate voters they easily bribe. The extreme poor Nigerians that they have ruined and pushed into extreme poverty and perdition .
Nigerians, especially, those in Diaspora must push to have diaspora voting and the total RESTRUCTURING OF NIGERIA.
We need to help ourselves now .
✍️Dr Nnaemeka Obiaraeri, FICA, MIRA