A careet diplomat and Management Consultant, Amb. Prince (Dr) Ubani Ifeanyi Chiwuike, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ease the hurdles placed in repatriation of capital and currency into the country.
The Nigeria’s Ambassador for British African Alliance lamented what he saw as encumbrances placed on the importation of currency by the CBN, adding that it was hampering investment by those in the diasporas.
The Ambassador who stated this during his investiture as Fellow of the prestigious Institute of , Leadership, Manpower and Management Development (ILMMD) in Port Harcourt, Saturday, explained that while he was not against government’s genuine efforts to stem the importation of illicit funds into the country by unpatriotic elements, diasporas investment should be encouraged by the CBN by easing the procedures involved in the process.
“The point is, we shouldn’t open doors and windows to funds that will be used to fight the nation or bring in funds that would be inimical to the development and peace of the nation.
“However, more emphasis should be placed on legitimate funds and it’s easy access to the nation and the populace”, he posited.
Ambassador Chibuike said his call became apt, considering the negative impact it was having on those in the Diasporas with genuine desires to bring in investment into the country.
His words, “At a time like this, Nigeria as a nation requires Diasporas Investment. Diasporas Investment is one of the investments that had impacted the nation but it’s highly unrecognized and ignored in many perspectives”.
He added that people talk about it every day but noted that the attitude with which it is managed justifies whether it is appreciated and recognized in the country.
Dr. Chibuike, who is also the Executive Director, British Nigeria Business Network Limited, who admitted that the situation was understandable, said: “The impact of Covid affected the entire globe and we are also aware that internally, Nigeria has experienced some challenges like the Endsars, secessionists’ agitations and all what not.
He added: “I actually applaud the government of Nigeria and President Mohammadu Buhari and his Ministers, for the role they have been playing in making sure that Nigeria remains one and united.
“However, coming to the perspective of capital and currency repatriation, my relationship with the United Kingdom, with my participation with the Diasporas and networking, something is really apparent”.
The diplomat, who is also renowned for human capacity developments, enthused that Nigerians in Diaspora are willing and capable of investing in Nigeria as a nation, noting that their investment could impact in the economy of the nation.
“That is the point I’m making because we cannot close shops because we are fighting terrorism. We cannot close shops because we want to fight those who have illegal incomes. What about those who are legitimate? How can they have easy access? How can they, from their own door steps invest in the country?
“Nigeria, at this stage, needs the Diasporas.People like organized sectors, British Nigeria Networks … there’s what we call Diasporas investment Summit in the United Kingdom. They are all organized and willing to invest. But the CBN needs to ease the troubles and challenges people go through to import money and capital into the country”, he said, adding it could impact in businesses, grassroots development and others.
Dr. Chibuike stressed that scrutinizing the source of every money that comes into the country is very vital and urged the federal government to look into the manner in which the Bankers’ bank is handling the process.
“Presently in Nigeria, there are benchmarks to the amount of money that can be imported. In some capacities, it’s about 10,000 dollars which both the banks appreciates and recognizes. However, the emphasis here is on other areas. We have the large scale investment, medium and small scale investment and we have other investments”, he said.
He maintained that some British companies and those of Nigerians in the diasporas willing to invest in Nigeria but could not do so because of the huddles posed by the CBN.
“The CBN is an institution I respect because they are organized. The Nigerian Diasporas Investment Summit has been interacting with the CBN. The British Nigerian Network which I represent is part of the Nigerian Diasporas Investment. The CBN has all the parameters and all it requires to do is a justful approach to what I have just said.
“All I have done is to call their attention to look inwardly and know the best way to ease the procedures people need to bring in money into our economy and help our people.
“Take note that I am not saying that illicit incomes and fraudulent incomes should be allowed into the country. I am saying that for those who have legitimate income, the attitude and procedures with which such monies can be invested into the country should be softened, and in this 21st century, it should be enhanced and modified so that the quantum of money outside the country which would develop the grassroots should be ushered into our economy to help our country, our wonderful country, Nigeria”, he said.