FORMER chairman of the Central Association of Nigerians in the UK (Canuk) Chief Bimbo Afolayan has been appointed as a member of Nigeria’s Adhoc Committee on the Establishment of Diaspora Investment Trust Fund.
Created to enhance investments from diasporans, the fund is the outcome of the first Nigerian Diaspora Investment Summit held in 2018. Since leaving Canuk after serving two two-year terms between 2011 and 2015, Chief Afolayan has dedicated his energy to attracting diaspora investment into Nigeria.
He created the Nigerian Diaspora Direct Investment Summit (NDDIS), which holds annual investment seminars in London where diasporans meet with state governors. In his new role, Chief Afolayan will help advise and make recommendations on the structure of this new fund, establishing procedures and guidelines for accessing it and helping to establish its management.
This 14-member committee, which has one month to complete its assignment was inaugurated in Abuja yesterday by the minister of state, in the ministry of foreign affairs Ambassador Zubairu Dada. Dr Ali Garba of Financial Investment Services Winconsin will serve as the committee chairman.
Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission expressed delight that the adhoc committee, the first ever in the history of Nigeria, is being established. She urged the committee to carry out its functions by virtual means given the circumstances of Covid-19 pandemic.
Chief Afolayan said: “This is a great honour and privilege and an opportunity to serve Nigeria. There are thousands of diasporans out there who want to invest in Nigeria but do not know how to go about it, so it is great that we are now creating an official investment mechanism.
“When we set up NDDIS, the idea behind it was to create official channels through which diasporans could invest back home and create some sort of security for their investment. With this committee, that process is now being taken a step further, as this investment trust fund is established by law and the security of any investment is guaranteed.”
Professor Manny Aniebonam of Global Investor, will serve as its secretary. Other members of the committee include Ms Lola Visser Mabogunje, Kachi Okezie, Femi Odere, Dr Ngozi Ogbonna-Erondu, Edward Sarki, Uche Orji, Mansur Nuhu Bamalli, Gbemi Adesemowo, Hon Abdulrahman Terab, Mariam Madaki and a representative of the finance ministry.