Updated: Feb 11
The event was organized by the Institute of Export and Management IEOM), Nigeria. Attendees included business owners, heads of institutions, and civil service organization leaders.
In his opening remarks, the CEO of IEOM, Mr. Ofon Udofia spoke about various bi-lateral agencies that had been set up to promote export of goods and services in the country.
Among those he mentioned included:
The main topic of the day, "One Person Can Make a Difference", was presented by Dr. Austin Ezejiofor, the Coordinator of the Program Migration and Diaspora (PMD) at the GIZ.
According to Dr. Ezejiofor, one major way the German government plans to use migration to develop Nigeria is the through development-oriented return of Nigerian experts living in Germany. This program for persons titled ‘Returning Experts’ has been running since 1980 but it is only 3-years old in Nigeria. Worldwide, there have been 15,000 returning experts to participating nations, and 36 returning experts in Nigeria.
The PMD program features the following:
Nigerian business owners can hire a returning expert from Germany and pay them at the same level that a Nigerian worker would be paid. The German GIZ offers salary subsidies to the returning experts for a period of two years.
They also offer equipment subsidies to their employers (maximum of $10,000) per expert.
Nigerian non-profits can get partners from the program who come with funds of up to 44,000 euros to implement programs in Nigeria
During his presentation, he also spoke about the fact that 38 million Africans were living abroad. $21 billion USD has been remitted by Nigerians living abroad into the Nigerian economy in the past one year alone. According to Dr. Ezejiofor, the German government was seeking ways to use remittances to develop the country and make remittances less expensive through the establishment of geldtransfair.de. The German government is interested in and seeking how these funds can be invested in Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
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