FGN woos Nigerians in Diaspora

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, has called on Nigerians in the diaspora to join hands with government in the task of re-engineering the socio-economic and political life of the country.

This came as he disclosed that the major contribution of Nigerians in the diaspora towards national development is through remittances to relatives, which he said, had been estimated at $18billion.

He stated that with the launch, in London, of a global database of Nigerians in the diaspora, Nigeria stands a good chance of harnessing her indigenous skills abroad for national development.

He also noted that highly skilled Nigerians who are scattered all over the world can make their services available, even without relocating home, with the advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Delivering a keynote address at the launch of global database of Nigerians in Diaspora by the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE), Bankole said the project could not have come at a better time.

The Speaker, who spoke on the theme “Indigenous Skills Abroad at the Service of the Nation”, noted that for Nigeria to surmount her developmental challenges, she must harness all resources at her disposal.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, Bankole  said adequate data is essential for the planning and execution of various programmes by government.

“It is true to state that qualitative and quantitative data of any kind are sine- qua- non to the successful planning and implementation of laudable policies and programmes.

“With a data base of our people abroad indicating their bio data, education and entertainment and specialisation, as well as previous and present work experience, the government at home can begin a conscious effort at interfacing with sons and daughters of Nigeria with a view to harnessing skills and expertise for the development of our great nation, ” he stated.

Another area of contribution , according to him, is in the health sector, through “emergency episodic intervention”, when Nigerian specialists visit home to carry out health related activities, including surgery.

He said House of Representatives just put in place a House Standing Committee on Diaspora, headed by Abike Dabiri-Erewa, adding that the House also intends to establish a “National Commission on Diaspora”.

The database, he said, will be useful to the Commission when it is finally established.

Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom , Dalhatu Sarki Tafida noted that although Nigeria is blessed with human capital and other natural resources, before now, there was no single data base of Nigerian professionals, either at home or abroad.

According to the high commissioner, had there been such a data base, it would have been made available to government as well as corporate bodies as a means of tapping from the entrepreneurial spirit of Nigerians abroad.

Tarfida expressed the need for the project to be sustained, expanded and updated on a regular basis.

In his speech, Chairman of NIDOE, Dr. John George noted that the data to be captured in the databank would be made available to both the public and the private sectors for Nigeria to benefit from the vast skills of her citizens that are abound all over the world for national development.

“NIDO’S core business remains national development. National development hinges predominantly on human resources to drive it. Nigeria ’s human resources constitute her greatest advantage today.

“This means that, for Nigeria to take the task of national development to an effective level, she needs to identify her human resources wherever they may be”, he said.


Source – thisday

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