SOAS University of London

Department of Development Studies

Mr Femi Bolaji

BSc (Ile-Ife), MSc (Ibadan), MSc (London)
  • Research
  • Publications


Femi Bolaji
Mr Femi Bolaji
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Thesis title:
How Does Diaspora Finance Shape Infrastructure Development in Nigeria?
Year of Study:
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Femi is a chartered engineer with specialisms in highways and transportation engineering. He has a Masters (Built Environment) from the Bartlett, University College London (UCL). Prior to starting his doctorate at SOAS he was an infrastructure advisor of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) to the Nigerian government. He has also worked for various international multidisciplinary consultancies.

PhD Research

Remittances and other financial flows from migrants to their countries of origin are at the heart of the relationship between migration and development. Many developing countries are keen to leverage these flows as sources of long-term finance for development priorities e.g. infrastructure. There is both celebration and skepticism in the development community about this trend. Nonetheless, it is a fact that diaspora are investing in development efforts (including infrastructure) in their countries of origin, in addition to sending money home to family members and as philanthropic contributions.

My research explores what drives diaspora financial flows, and the ways in which they contribute to development in general and infrastructure in particular, using the Nigerian diaspora in the United Kingdom as a case study. I have chosen Nigeria because it has significant infrastructure challenges and a large diaspora who are potentially able to help plug the gap. Moreover, in the current context of lower growth rates, the government of Nigeria is actively working on initiatives to channel diaspora finance towards the provision of public goods.

I will adopt a mixed-methodology approach that combines quantitative and qualitative research methods to scrutinise motivations and the capacity of the diaspora to provide finance for infrastructure development; current mechanisms for channeling diaspora finance to infrastructure projects; and opportunities and barriers for such mechanisms, in the wider context of infrastructure development in Nigeria.


  • Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation
  • Association for Project Management
  • Nigerian Society of Engineers


  • Remittances
  • Migration and development nexus
  • Development finance
  • Diaspora finance of infrastructures


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