The Hon. Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada says harnessing the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in Diaspora towards the socio-economic, cultural and political development of Nigeria can no longer be ignored.
Ambassador Dada stated this in Abuja at the historic inaugural Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series with the topic: MOBILIZING NIGERIANS IN THE DIASPORA FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT.
The Minister of State, Foreign Affairs says it is legit to describe the Nigerian Diaspora as catalysts for accelerated development of Nigeria deserving to be treated and regarded as such.
The Minister pointed out that the Nigerian Diaspora Community globally is well educated, resource endowed, skilled, talented and exposed to global best practices and patriotic in terms of maintaining filial relationships with Nigeria.
Ambassador Dada sees the following strategies as tools used for tapping into the enormous potentials of the Diaspora which include: Establishment of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM); National Diaspora Policy; Constitution of Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Diaspora Affairs, building and strengthening ties with the Diaspora; Diaspora Voting, National Diaspora Day Celebrations and Establishment of the State Diaspora Focal Point Officers.
According to Amb. Dada, “the outcome of which has led to the numerous contributions from our Diaspora on Health, Education, sports, Entertainment, ICT and Agriculture”.
The Minister of Interior, Hon. Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, while speaking on the achievements and sweeping reforms embark upon by the Ministry and its Parastatals particularly the Nigerian Immigration Service, have established Front Offices in some selected airports in Nigeria.
On applications and issuance of passports, the Interior Minister says the shortage of passports will soon be a thing of the past as they are working hard to resolve it “all passports application to be made online and passports to take two weeks and applicants to be informed via emails and our affiliates to have passports support centers”, the Minister explains.
In the meantime, the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa explained that the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series is projected to be a major aspect of national discourse, where Nigerians can be kept abreast of the Government’s Policies, programmes and Projects in Nigeria and her Diaspora Community.
According to her, “It will be expert oriented and participants would also have the opportunity to contribute to the discourse”.
Some participants across Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe UK and the Americas asked questions on current issues facing Nigeria ranging from insecurity, ineffient power supply, issuance of National ID cards, Diaspora Voting, Constitution of the Diaspora Board members of NIDCOM, Diaspora engagements, as well as, foreign direct investments among others.
The issues were well marshalled out by the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs and the Chairman/CEO NIDCOM Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
Over two thousand participants hooked virtually to the Inaugural Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series.