(By Maureen Okon, NAN)
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) on Tuesday commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for its new policy to grant unfettered access to Foreign Exchange (Forex) on Diaspora Remittances.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NiDCOM, gave the commendation while hosting the first Honorary Consul of Columbia to Nigeria, Mrs Maricel Cantillo, who visited the Commission in Abuja.
A statement by NiDCOM’s Head of Media and Public Relations, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, quoted her as saying that Nigerians in the Diaspora were excited with the policy which would ultimately impact positively on the Diaspora remittances and Investments in Nigeria.
Dabiri-Erewa added that the commission had already set up a process for the Nigerian Diaspora Investment Trust Fund.
She also said that beneficiaries of remittances by Nigerians in the Diaspora would get their money in the currency of transmission rather than in Naira.
She advised them to patronise registered Bureau de Change in operation and urged the CBN to reduce the levies charged by International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) on remittances, with that of Nigeria being the highest in the world.
Dabiri-Erewa said she was happy to receive Columbia’s first honorary consul to Nigeria, noting that it was an opportunity to engage Nigerians in Columbia and Colombians in Nigeria to deepen cultural and trade relations.
Responding, Cantillo, who expressed excitement at being the first Honorary Colombia Consul to Nigeria, said she believed that would strengthen the ties between both countries.
Cantillo said that she was hopeful of the future and looked forward to strengthening commercial and cultural ties between both countries, adding that Columbia was home for Nigerians and vice versa.
She noted that Nigeria and Columbia shared a lot of cultural similarities and encouraged the NiDCOM boss to make plans to engage the Nigerian Community in Columbia as Nigerians were an asset to their host country.