By Chief Lawson Nkem Okafor (Omeiheukwu Omuma)

On September 28th, 2023, the Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Dist. Sen. Hope Uzodinma (Onwa) unveiled his ambitious plan to send 4000 Imo Youths with relevant employable skill set to Europe and Canada.

He equally highlighted the steps he had already taken towards it’s actualization and what the Government will do for the proposed beneficiaries.

As expected, this announcement was greeted with mixed reaction with some thunderously appreciating the positive gesture while a few others are going to the ludicrous extent to make a total mockery of the entire plans.

It must be stated without any iota of doubt that leadership is not a tea drinking party and a leader is a dealer in hope who must be imbued with the key attributes of an eagle.

Like an eagle, a leader must stay away from narrow minded people, be ready at all time for the storm, nurture his or her young ones and posses clear vision.

A summation of the above qualities finds expression in the decision of the Governor to target the variegated but innumerable impact of diaspora remittance to the State as well as human capital development.

Careful research has revealed that diasporas influence national economies through remittances to family members, foreign direct investment, entrepreneurial endeavors and the facilitation of trade cum transfer of knowledge/skills.

In 2021, Nigeria was the second highest recipient of diaspora remittance into Africa while the New York declaration for Refugees and Migrants in its 2030 Agenda for sustainable development acknowledged the huge impact of diaspora remittance towards sustainable development.

Imo people must strive to separate the wheat from chaff and strongly avoid those who do not mean well for the State.

Like the Igbo saying goes, you can only tell a blind man that there is no oil in a food but cannot tell him about salt since he can taste with his taste bud.

Sending Imo people in whatever guise abroad especially to Europe and Canada is an offer too good and advantageous in several ways.

One of the key advantage is the range of economic opportunities, including employment, entrepreneurship, and access to advanced industries.

Sending Imo indigenes to these regions can provide them with better job prospects and higher earning potential, which can contribute to their economic well-being and that of their families.

Also moving such huge numbers of Imo Indigenes to Canada and Europe can provide the beneficiaries with access to high-quality education and training programs.

They can acquire new skills, knowledge, and expertise that can be beneficial for their personal growth and professional advancement.

This can ultimately contribute to the development of human capital in Imo State In years to come.

More also, the proposed beneficiaries can gain exposure to advanced technologies, research, and innovation. Some may bring back this valuable knowledge and experiences to Imo State, which can contribute to the development of local industries, research institutions, and overall technological progress.

The successful consummation of the Governor’s plan can help foster cultural exchange and understanding between different countries and communities.

It can promote cultural diversity, tolerance, and appreciation for different perspectives, which can contribute to global harmony and cooperation.

Furthermore and most importantly, the bulk of the beneficiaries will become part of a long list of those that send remittances back home.

At the present rate of over #700 to $1 and over #1000 to £1, these financial contributions can provide economic support to their families and communities, helping to alleviate poverty, improve living standards, and stimulate local economic development.

Lastly, is the opportunities to build networks and connections with professionals, entrepreneurs, and experts from various fields.

These connections can be valuable for future collaborations, partnerships, and knowledge-sharing, which can contribute to the development of Imo State.

Ndi-Imo, we must understand when to call a spade by its real name and nothing more pretentious. Let us critically look at the Governor’s proposal and give him all the necessary support to actualize this great vision for the betterment of our children and the entire State.

If the Governor can successfully actualize this incredible feat, then it will be one of the biggest human capital development of all time and as such deserves the support of every patriotic Imo Son and daughter.

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