Nigeria plans diaspora city in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt to attract citizens abroad
London, August 9, 2018 (AltAfrica)-In a bid to give Nigerians abroad a home similar to where they live and avoid sharp practices that often characterise their desire to have a building at home, the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) has announced plans to build a Diaspora City in seven states of the country.
The Managing Director/CEO, Federal Housing Authority, Prof. Mohammed Al-Amin, who disclosed the plan when he received the Chief Executive Officer/Editor-In-Chief of Medial Trust Limited (MTL), Malam Mannir Dan-Ali, said the innovative model was a strategy to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and boost job creation and access to housing schemes for Nigerians in the Diaspora, adding that over the years, about $20 billion has been attracted from the Diaspora.
He said rather than allow offshore funds to go into the black-market in the country, FHA made a case for legal means of channelling the funds for local investments.
He said: “We made a case to the government on it and it was approved so we chose seven cities for the project. They are Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Benin, Kaduna, Enugu and Kano.”
The FHA boss said a 700 hectare of land was acquired at Abuja’s Maitama Extension for the project whose ground breaking ceremony will hold in about two months’ time, to be completed in 20 to 30 months.
This project is being packaged under a tripartite partnership arrangement with Federal Housing Authority as project developers / owners, Federal Ministry of Power, Works & Housing (FMPW&H) as project facilitators and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as project promoters. The ultimate beneficiaries of the project are Nigerians in diaspora.
The FHA Diaspora City is a housing initiative of the Authority which is designed to provide a secured and sustainable home ownership for Nigerians that are living and working outside the country
Prof Al-Amin, disclosed that he was inspired by a similar project in Ethiopia experience.
According to the FHA boss, there are over 15 million Nigerians inthe diaspora. On back home remittances, who in year 2006 alone, remitted $16.93 billion into the Nigerian economy
In 2013, he said the remittance went up to $21 billion, and as recent as 2016, the repatriated sum grew to $35 billion.
The CEO/E-I-C of Media Trust Ltd, publishers of Daily Trust and other titles, Malam Dan-Ali, acknowledged the good relationship the media house maintains with FHA noting that the visit was to further strengthen the ties. He made a presentation of MTL’s Co-Created Content (CCC) publication scheme which he said allows agencies to generate and publish content to tell their success stories through Daily Trust papers and its online platform that has over two million subscribers and followers.
He said: “We have two million readers online and part of what we are known for is our credibility. In Nigeria, if you are being objective and you are talking of credibility, we are either Number 1 or 2 in terms of whatever yardsticks.”
He urged the FHA to key into the CCC project as other agencies have done, to tell its strategic and national development stories as well as educate the public on its activities saying, “You spend money with us, you get value for your money.”
The FHA boss who affirmed the paper’s credibility and integrity said, “I feel very comfortable that this media house is worth its salt. We will look at the proposal you present and God willing, we will look towards its actualisation.