Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Him. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has assured Nigerians living abroad that the Commission will continuously work towards strengthening collaboration and unity of purpose as well as collate accurate data of all Nigerians in the Diaspora.
“We will strengthen collaboration and unity of purpose amongst Nigerians in Diaspora and work on databases”, Dabiri-Erewa assured at a town hall meeting with Nigerians in the Americas.
The two-hour town hall webinar which was held on Saturday night, was moderated by Messrs Samuel Adewusi, Wale Adesanya, Patricia Mawa, Mike Essien, and Obed Monago, and had over 760 registered participants and over 1.6 million live streams on Facebook.
Dabiri-Erewa further noted that the Commission will work harmoniously with various groups and partners towards national development, adding that NIDCOM, working with the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Diaspora, plan to convene an all stakeholders meeting, on how to strengthen NIDO, to fulfill the mission of its founding fathers to evolve to a viable, unifying and effective body that will involve and be inclusive of all recognized and registered Nigerian Diaspora Organisations.
Speaking on the issue of data, she explained that without necessary data to know the total number of Nigerians living abroad, skilled and unskilled, planning will be uncoordinated, adding that the Commission will work with all state focal persons on diaspora to fulfill its vision and mission.
She noted that the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) had flagged off the capturing in some countries while the Nigeria Immigration Service has also eased the process of passport procurement and renewals with the launching of a 10-year validity document as well as visa on arrival policy.
In addition to that, she announced that a special website portal will be created by NIDCOM where all diaspora groups, individuals and organisations will be registered, so as to be dealing with authentic entities.
While appreciating the Diasporans for their remittances back home, she said the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown will definitely affect remittances, but thanked the various diaspora groups for putting together a platform to make donations to the country to fight the pandemic.
Several other issues bothering on Investment opportunities in Nigeria, corruption,maltreatment of Nigerians abroad, alleged preference of the Nigeria Government for other nationals to execute projects in Nigeria, repatriation of Nigerians, Federal government’s road map on the power sector, health and Education were discussed.