The Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, has been conferred with the honorary citizenship of Dallas, in the United States.
Obi took to his Twitter page on Wednesday night to announce it, with some pictures of the occasion he caption, “Today in Dallas Texas United States, I met with the Mayor of Dallas and his team. I had the privilege of being conferred with the honorary citizenship of Dallas. I also met with a select group of Texas Judges.”
The former governor of Anambra state who is currently in US, in a series of tweets said, “it is my pleasure to be here in Dallas, Texas, I wish to express my immense gratitude to the members of the Local Organizing Committee, especially Dr. Charles U. Maduka, whose personal persistence compelled my return to Texas after three weeks.
“Thank you all for your very gracious and warm reception. I thank Nigerian youths at home and aboard. I salute them for their courage, for being proactive, focused and for their tenacity.
“They have collectively provided a new narrative for discussing and contemplating leadership needs in Nigeria. I remain confident that given their resilience, they will stay the course until victory is achieved.
“I will share with you the role I think the Nigeria Diaspora can play in national development. I will also offer a synopsis of our thinking on the ways to move Nigeria forward.
“Diaspora communities are increasingly part of the foreign relations architecture. I want to assure you that I consider the Nigeria Diaspora an invaluable national asset.
Speaking further Obi said, “World Bank estimates put global pre-pandemic Diaspora remittances at a record-high of $719 billion in 2019; including $548 billion to low- and middle-income countries. Nigeria, with $20 billion in remittances in 2021, is ranked 6th behind the top five recipient countries.
“We must improve on the present ranking, since expert assessments indicate that Nigeria Diaspora’s annual remittances can be raised to about $60b, which will translate to about 14% of our total GDP.
“It is noteworthy and commendable that Diaspora remittances to Nigeria have surpassed oil revenue for some years now, hovering between 3.8 to 6.1 percent of the country’s GDP. The impact is equally huge: A 2017 Study showed that 70 percent of foreign remittances in Nigeria go to families to address unmet needs, with about 30 percent going to real estate and SMES investments.
“I consider Diaspora remittances the new normal and envisage that it will soon become Nigeria’s new Official Development Assistance (ODA). In 2021 Nigeria’s foreign direct investment (FDI) was a paltry $4.8 billion compared to Diaspora remittances.
“Diaspora remittances are therefore, our alterative FDI and ODA. #POinTexas.”