Networking Session 2 (12 January 2019) -NSF (UK) planning meeting @ Lagos Island Restaurant (London).
How does diaspora finance shape infrastructure development in Nigeria? By: Femi Bolaji, a PhD candidate of the department of development Studies, SOAS, University of London.
As part of his research in the above area, Femi engaged NSF (UK) members to ascertain their views and experience with donating funds to Nigeria. He was keen to understand the purpose of the donation for example if for; family, friends, altruistic reasons, investment purposes, other reasons or a combination. He wanted to understand too; if members wished to play a more active role in how their funds were utilised or if confident in the abilities of the fund managers back home in Nigeria? If dissatisfied, why do they continue to send funds home?
He also highlighted that other countries such as Israel and India successfully harnessed the financing potentials of their diaspora and transformed their respective economies.
During the session, it was established that the Nigerian Government had in the past attempted to replicate this model (e.g. Israel’s), but so far unsuccessfully, perhaps due to the error in the implementation methods. Nigeria’s annual diaspora remittance of $21B+ appeared to be within the top 6 recipient of worldwide diaspora funds per country; however it was not having the expected transformative effect on infrastructure development of its economy as with say Israel’s, perhaps evidence of the poor use of the funds. The session was both interactive and engaging.
Members were happy to participate in the research project and wished Femi the best of luck with it.