A group of Nigerians based in the US, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe and South Africa are taking steps towards the establishment of a N100 billion Venture Capital Fund and also a specialised bank targeted at the Small and Medium Enterprises SME sector in Nigeria.
This is as a result of the market-friendly reforms being introduced by the federal government and the critical need for more foreign direct investments to stimulate domestic production in the country.
Sources of foreign direct investments into Nigeria are becoming hard to find but annual diaspora remittances to the country is expected to grow over $20 billion according to the World Bank’s Migration and Development Brief released in 2023.
Ekwo Omakwu- a financial consultant based in the United States of America and chairman of the group, noted that the steady inflow of funds from the Nigerian diaspora reflects the continued strong connection to supporting families and contributes to economic development of the country.
“What you will see in the coming months is the development of the venture capital fund and specialised SME bank,” he said.
“The two financial institutions will leverage on the extensive financial networks and expertise of diaspora Nigerians to invest in the productive sectors of the Nigerian economy- especially the non-oil sectors, “Omakwu added.
The diaspora group has taken steps towards the realisation of its objectives with the incorporation of SME Investments Limited in Nigeria.
The immediate goal of the company is to collaborate with the regulatory agencies of government namely- the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) to put in place robust and innovative financial services operations that will boost employment and lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty.