The paper, in general terms, clarifies and discusses the link between the Diasporaand the issue of development in general, and, in specific terms examines the roleas well as the huge potential of the Nigerian Diaspora in national development.Drawing lessons from the historical as well as contemporary experiences of somecountries such as India, China, Philippines, Italy, and Ghana, the paper arguesthat the Diaspora can be an agent of national development. In analyzing thedifferent Diasporas and remittances from Diasporas from the different countries,the paper took cognizance of the fact that they are not similar to each other, justlike Nigerian Diaspora has different kinds of diasporic conditions and responsesas that of other African countries in Diaspora. After many years of militaryauthoritarian rule, Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999. The event openeda new vista in terms of Nigerian government-Diaspora relations. This is evidencedin the increased efforts by past administrations of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjoand Umaru Yar Adua and present administration of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan toattract the Diaspora, not only to identify with Nigeria, but also to contribute to thecountry’s development. The philosophy behind Nigeria’s current efforts to engage the Nigerian Diaspora was borne out of the recognition of the huge capital andresources of the Diaspora and the need to tap into that vast reservoir of knowledge,skills, and experiences for national development. The new initiatives by thecivilian government towards engaging the Nigerian Diaspora included interactivemeetings, dialogues, conference, and through the creation of organizations suchas the Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) and Nigerian NationalVolunteer Service (NNVS) as platforms for Diaspora engagement and the adoptionof July 25 as Diaspora Day every year. Such appropriative efforts have not yieldedenough fruits as the Nigerian state would have wanted. This, in part, is due to thecharacteristic of Diaspora and diasporic identities in their highly hybridized andever multidirectional character, rendering the impossibility of entire cooption bythe national government and its agencies. When compared with the experiences ofsome of the countries examined, it becomes evident that the Nigerian governmentdevelop more platforms for the engagement of the Nigerian Diaspora and alsoimprove its engagement with the Diaspora by building partnerships and harnessingits resources for national gains. The study therefore concludes by recommendingthat an institutional framework should be created by the Nigerian government thatwill effectively engage the Nigerian Diaspora, so that the huge potentials thereincan be harnessed for national development.


African diaspora, Nigerian diaspora, diaspora policy, national development, international migration, diaspora relations, international remittance

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

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Jan Baetens
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
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Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
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University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
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University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
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Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)