The Chairperson Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has assured Nigerians living abroad that the commission will continuously work towards strengthening collaboration as well as collate accurate data of all Nigerians in the Diaspora.
In a statement, Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa stated this during a two-hour townhall webinar meeting with Nigerians living in the Americas which coincided with one year anniversary of the Commission.
The meeting which had over 760 registered participants attracted over 1.6 k people live stream on Facebook.
She said that the Commission would 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 Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation, 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.
Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa explained that without data to know the total number of Nigerians living abroad, skilled and unskilled, planning would be uncoordinated, adding that the Commision would work with all state focal persons on diaspora to fulfill its vision and mission.
She noted that 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.
On the issue of NIDCOM board, she was optimistic that President Muhammadu Buhari will constitute appropriately, but denounced the fallacy in some circles that the two representatives of the Diaspora in six continents will come from ONLY ONE diaspora organisation.
Other issues discussed include 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.
The meeting also discussed NIDCOM relationship with African Union and ECOWAS as well as Ministries, Department and Agencies in Nigeria to minimise the bottlenecks and bureaucracies that Nigeria returnees do face in which Dabiri-Erewa assured them of NIDCOM positive intervention.
The NIDCOM boss, however, said the Commission has opened some dedicated emails (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com) and phone contacts (+1888644237213, +1234222231) as well as Artificial Intelligence AI chatbot Platform where all ideas , suggestions and instant responses are collated.
Dabiri-Erewa used the opportunity to condole again the families of over 30 Nigerians in the Diaspora who died as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, mostly in America and UK, for God to accept their souls and their families to have the fortitude to bear the irreparable losses.
The online webinar townhall meeting with the Diaspora was the second in the series of major meetings after that of UK two weeks ago.