NiDCOM engages 17m Nigerians in Diaspora since 2019 — Dabiri-Erewa
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) said it had engaged 17 million Nigerians living globally since its inception in 2019.
The Chairman, NiDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said this at the ongoing Global African Diaspora Symposium (GADS) in Abuja on Thursday.
Dabiri-Erewa said the commission had engaged them through several national programmes.
The NiDCOM chairman also said the commission had seen the benefits of engagements with the various sectors of Nigerians in the Diaspora on the nation’s economy.
“We in Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, since establishment in 2019, have engaged with over 17 million Nigerians in the Diaspora through the following flagship:
“Presidential Town Hall meetings; National Diaspora Day Celebrations on July 25th of every year; National Diaspora Investment Summit which holds annually in November; Diaspora Mortgage and Housing Programme; regular interventions for Nigerians abroad.
“We have seen the early benefits of these engagements in various sectors of our economy, including agriculture, education, health, science and technology, information communications technology, real estate, tourism and culture, among others.”
The symposium was organised by the African Diaspora Alliance, together with the Organisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), NiDCOM and the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa (DTCA).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also part of the organisers of the second GADS with the theme: “Building Stronger Connections between Africa and the Global Diaspora.”
The first one was African Diaspora Symposium (ADS-2020), which held in Nairobi, Kenya in December 2020.
The aim of GADS is to further put the Diaspora phenomenon on the development agenda of Africa.
She, however, prayed that the symposium, designed to address and proffer solutions to Africa’s issues, would be held every two years.
She said this would spur the necessary support and attention of the African Diaspora in the accelerated development of the African continent.
The symposium is also expected to offer concrete strategies and the needed incorporation between major Diaspora leaders in government, business, the private sector and the professions, with leaders on the African continent.
This is so as to achieve successful results.
Moreover, it seeks to create an interface between Africa and the Diaspora for the sole purpose of maximising partnership and collaboration.
In his remarks, Amb. Zubairu Dada, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said the symposium bordered on global Diaspora issues to discuss challenges and explore opportunities offered by the African Diaspora.
Dada said it was estimated that there were more than 250 million international migrants, and over 40 million of them were of African origin.
“African migration has been on a steady upward trajectory for the past two decades and given continuing strong push factors, that trend is expected to continue.
“This is too significant I believe, to be ignored in our development aspirations as Africans.
“Human mobility is expected to increase and the World Bank estimates that by 2050, there will be more than 400 million international migrants with Africa sharing a large proportion of this number.
“We will no longer think about our economy, societies, innovation, scientific breakthrough, and the rest of them without thinking about the African Diaspora. Therefore migration is innovative.”
The minister of state said it was also necessary for migration to be well governed and well handled.
He said Africa required to transform its potential and abundant human resources.
More so, he said the continent was witnessing migration trends of young qualified people due to push and pull factors.
He said Regional Economic Communities needed to address the issue, to enable development in Africa.
Dada also said there was the need to build up effective partnership in the African Diaspora and broaden cooperation among all the stakeholders.
“It is therefore pleasing that this symposium, through its detailed agenda items, are aligned with the commitment of all stakeholders to come up with far reaching policy recommendations.”
He said the suggestions would be considered by the relevant authorities and stakeholders within and outside the continent.
“I believe the Abuja Declaration that will emerge from this symposium would place a premium on issues of African Diaspora and contain concrete plans of action in our collective determination to build a stronger connection between Africa and the Global Diaspora.”
The symposium had in attendance several African Heads of States, ministers, international organisations, the diplomatic community, among others.