Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa
Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman, Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NDC), says President Muhammadu Buhari had instructed that wherever Nigerians were, their welfare should be paramount.
She said this while disclosed that a Diaspora Policy for Nigeria has been sent to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for ratification.
Dabiri-Erewa spoke to State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Dabiri-Erewa said that she briefed the president on the short, medium and long term goals of the commission.
“We have dealt with a lot of issues — xenophobic attacks in South Africa and those who have returned; recently too, young Nigerians stranded in Croatia returned and we received them in the office”, she said.
“We have various engagements; we have sent the Diaspora Policy to the FEC; hopefully, it will be considered in the New Year.
“The Diaspora policy is a holistic policy that actually will guide all Diaspora engagements; it covers all aspects of Diaspora engagements.
“It will transcend virtually every ministry that has to do with Diaspora; every department and agency; already, we are working with states; 13 states have focal persons on Diaspora; there are two commissioners for Diaspora.
“Ondo State has a House Committee on Diaspora Chairman; and we hope that other states will have their focal persons because we need to also move to the sub-national governments in terms of Diaspora engagements.
“We believe that if we are able to have this policy; it will actually revolutionarise a lot of things in this country.
“As we move into the New Year, we have started a process of having a Diaspora database to know exactly the number of Nigerians in Diaspora as accurately as we can.
“Hopefully, we will have a Diaspora Policy that will be ratified by FEC and then we continue our engagements.
“We have had the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit which was very successful; we are planning the Nigeria Diaspora Trust Fund because Nigerians in Diaspora want to invest in the country and they want to contribute.
“So, Diaspora Investment Trust Fund will be coming up in the New Year and a lot of other engagements and activities; and as per the returnees from South Africa, like we said earlier, we have not abandoned and will not abandon them.’’