The Delta Business Platform (DBP) on Wednesday conservatively estimated that Delta State earned about US $1 billion (about N472 billion) as Direct Foreign Investment (FDI) in 2018.

The figure, according to the group, compared favourably with the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 combined.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Delta Business Platform Dr Jude Osakwe made the disclosure while briefing journalists on the forthcoming diaspora business summit in the state.

Osakwe said the $1 billion was part of the $25 billion remitted to the country by Nigerians in diaspora in 2018, adding that the $25 billion represented 6.1% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

‘This figure translates to 83% of the Federal Government budget in 2018, and 11 times the FDI flows into the country in the same period.

‘Nigeria’s diaspora remittance inflows amounted to seven times the $3.4 billion foreign aid received in 2017,’ he said.

Osakwe, who was represented by a director of the DBP, Norbert Emeka Osakwe, said the group would bring even higher extensive capital for investment into the economy of Delta State.

He said the group was interested in promoting key sectors including agriculture and agribusiness, oil and gas, light manufacturing, electricity and power generation, transportation, ICT, property and real estate, educational institution, among others in the state.

Osakwe said the goal of the summit was to replicate for Delta State the ‘huge economic and technological contributions that the overseas Chinese and the Jewish diaspora have made for their respective countries over the past decades.’

According to him, day one of the summit would be held virtually in three sections (morning, afternoon and night) in order to accommodate diaspora Deltans who live in different time zones.

He added that the day-two would be held in-person but with strict observance of COVID-19 protocols.

Osakwe disclosed that the summit would officially unveil the proposed Delta Diaspora City, the proposed University of Technology and other diaspora-based investment products and initiatives.

Endorsing the business summit on behalf of the state government, Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, said the administration would continue to woo potential investors while providing the needed enabling environment for investment to thrive.