It has been 23 days since we launched the Crowdfunding Campaign to share the idea and moblize support for SE2030 a novel online collaboration platform for peer to peer investments to radically transform the economic outlook of South East Nigeria.
In that time Nigerians living in the UK alone have sent home over N72.5 Billion Naira, that is at the rate of $11 Million US Dollars a day according to figures contained in the Price WaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Report on Nigerians in Diaspora.
The aggregate amount from global destinations come to over $65 Million, that is about 23 Billion Naira equivalent, every day received at home from Nigerians abroad. Let’s actually think about this.
The more interesting fact is that this amount is simply invisible in the economy back home.
PwC have discovered and reported that remittances from Nigerians in diaspora since 2014 have overtaken oil as the major source of income for the Nigerian economy, bringing in four times the value of petroleum revenues.
Yet, every aspect of the Nigerian economy seems to depend on what goes on at the FAAC meetings where the Crude Oil account is shared between the State and Federal Government executives each month.
Now if we suppose that one-sixth of the reported $23B that comes into Nigeria from the Diaspora annually (it could be a much higher proportion) goes to the South East geo-political zone, that would be about N1.5 Trillion Naira. Every year, and rising.
We can imagine what just 10% of that money could achieve?
Perhaps we could develop a really ultra-modern Dubai-Type Mall out of the ashes of Ochanja Market.
Or a private seaport could be built in Azumini with new toll roads connecting Aba, Owerri, Nnewi and Onitsha.
The only reason why this remains like an impossible dream is because we do not have a mechanism through which the funds from the diaspora can be captured, structured and applied to areas that are essential and relevant to directly impact the overall economy.
PwC in their report noted that in Mexico, for every $2 Billion received from the diaspora $6.5 Billion was generated in the local economy. This is a revelation and should cause us to rethink the idea of sending money only to Mama, who simply stashes the cash under her mattress or inside the calabash, until you come back.
We need to think about, how to make these remittances work to the point that real wealth is generated back home, as it should be.
How can this be done?
If you read the attached PwC report through to the recommendations section it more or less advises that to utilize the money from the diaspora, Nigerians need to:
• Create a platform where crucial information on investment opportunities can be shared
• Encourage and create pooled investment vehicles.
• Find ways of facilitating investment into early-stage small scale businesses through angel networks.
• Develop a framework to harness remittances into generating capital for productive investments for the growth and development of small and micro-enterprises, which will in turn, create employment.
• And in addition deploy remittances toward philanthropic activities which can serve as solutions for specific deficiencies in the local infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and roads
This is essentially what the SE2030 Platform has been developed to deliver for the South East as a means of enabling collaboration between local entrepreneurs with opportunities and the skills and funding that is available from the diaspora.
We have the resources to transform the South East available to us now.
I am extending an invitation to you to act now, to engage and come on board SE2030 let us put all our resources to work. Everyday that passes, we lose more of what could make our situation in the South East better.
Support the Crowdfunding Campaign today with your pledge of any amount you are comfortable with. It’s an all-or-nothing campaign which means the money is held in your account until we achieve the total target in pledges.
If the target is not achieved your money is returned to you automatically, you lose nothing.
But by engaging now and pledging your commitment you will help building the momentum we need to get everybody on board so that we achieve the target
This is not an investment in the platform but rather a sort of advance subscription for the services available through the platform. We prefer this model because we need everyone coming unto the platform to make a commitment and to know that others on the platform have also made a minimum commitment to business and development in the South East. As a stakeholder.
You can support the campaign with as little as £20, but more importantly help spread the word about SE2030 and encourage others to come on board. Let us make sensible and strategic use of our remittances to the South East.
Support us here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/se2030
Download the full PwC report here: https://www.pwc.com/ng/en/pdf/the-economic-power-of-nigerias-diaspora.pdf
By Sam Igwe
Director at GSL Tech Ltd