The Presidency on Thursday said some Nigerians have afflicted themselves with willful blindness, deafness and amnesia just to erase the footprint of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina in his article, titled: “Buhari’s footprints from home to Diaspora,” said “unless you are the discerning type, listening to public discourse today, you would think the only thing happening in the country is insecurity.
“Yes, Nigeria has battled and is still battling grave security issues. But it will win. As sure as night follows the day. In fact, insurgents and bandits are being put on the back foot already. Nigeria shall win.
“However, the footprints of President Muhammadu Buhari are visible in many areas of our national life and will remain indelible.
At least for those who are fair, and open-minded, not those who have afflicted themselves with willful blindness, deafness and amnesia.”
Adesina said one area where President Buhari would never be forgotten was in diaspora matters.
“How the country relates with its nationals abroad, taps into their skills and capacities takes care of their needs, and generally gives them a sense of inclusion in national affairs.
“Who is a diaspora? A Nigerian who lives and works abroad, who maintains links with the country and shows a clear interest in contributing to her development in diverse ways. We are not talking of Nigerians who have ‘Japa’ (to use a popular local lingo), and who have resolved to have nothing to do with their motherland again. Some even stay abroad and start throwing stones at their country, calling it all sorts of names.
“In terms of financial remittances, see what our diaspora have done in the past three years. Mind you, we are talking of funds remitted through official channels, which can be tracked and recorded, and not unofficial ones.
“In the year 2019, total remittance was 25 billion dollars. In 2020, due to the ravages of COVID-19, it dropped to 17 billion dollars. And in 2021, it shot up to 20 billion dollars again. In Quarter 1 of this year alone, the sum of 5.16 billion dollars had been recorded.
“The significance of these diaspora remittances should strike home better when you compare it to what the country gets through Foreign Direct Investment. In 2021, it was 4.8 billion dollars, compared to 20 billion. Diaspora Home Remittances, are, therefore four times our FDI, and contribute about 6.1% of our annual GDP,” he stated.
According to Adesina, “A lot of people, particularly youths, want out of the country, because of hard times, which is really a global phenomenon. But as some people, young and old ‘Japa,’ others are coming back home, and making a difference. Why? Because they still believe in Nigeria. East or West, home is the best.”