National Development: U.S.-based don calls for enabling environment for diasporas’ participation


Washington D.C, USA.

U.S.-based Nigerian professor of history, Hakeem Tijani, has called for an enabling environment for those in the diaspora, especially Nigerian-Americans to contribute to national development.

Tijani made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Washington D.C.

He explained that providing an enabling environment for the Diasporas would enhance effective delivery as they could contribute by bringing their expertise in an inclusive way

“We should work together in an inclusive manner and an inclusive way of life will take us to the Promised Land,” he said.

Tijani, who is the Executive Director of the Office of Global Partnerships-Africa, Morgan State University, Maryland, said Diasporas could contribute to their homeland development through philanthropy, skills transfer, business investment, and advocacy.

He noted that by their status, those in the diaspora were well equipped to contribute to all the sectors of the economy, and their contributions could yield results when Nigeria provided them with that enabling environment.

According to him, Nigerians living abroad are always willing to contribute, adding that Nigerians should not see them as a threat.

Reminiscing over his experience living in the U.S. for eight years, Tijani told NAN that shortly after Eight years in the U.S, he was back in Nigeria.

“But on getting back to Nigeria, I gave up $7,000 after tax in 2011 to earn around 485,000 naira. I didn’t complain. I wasn’t broke. I still maintained my standard of living without stealing,’’ he said.

He however advised those in the diaspora not to run down the efforts in their homeland, adding that they should rather adapt when they are called to serve.

“Also, we should engage in teamwork and above all tolerate one another,’’ he added.

Speaking on the “JAPA syndrome”, the don said Nigerians should see it as a way of adding value to themselves in whichever context they see, whether relocating within Nigeria or abroad.

According to him, education of the mind in formal education is very important.

“The National Orientation Agency should do more of informal education not necessarily jingle, that is why I developed a course at Morgan State University this semester.

“That is what I’m teaching. I’m teaching Migration, Development, and Politics in West Africa, and my students are all African Americans and it is really making a lot of sense to them,’’ Tijani said. 


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