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Presidency to Partner with National Assembly on New Diaspora Policy and Commission



Abike Dabiri 1

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, announced the new Diaspora Policy in Abuja yesterday

The Presidency is set to partner with the National Assembly on a new policy to carter for the needs and inclusiveness of Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Relations, gave this news when she led a delegation to visit the Chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora, Sen. Rose Oko, in Abuja on Tuesday.

The potentials of Nigerians in the Diaspora, she said, could not be effectively harnessed without a Diaspora policy and a commission to carter for the Nigerians in the Diaspora.

“We must have a Diaspora Policy as soon as possible, Nigeria does not have a Diaspora policy, so the first thing we would be doing is crafting a Diaspora policy. We will be working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the House and Senate Committee on Diaspora to craft this policy on Diaspora matters. This policy would be like a thrust  for every other thing that we are going to do and work on that will start very soon, we are going to get every Nigerian in the Diaspora to contribute to the policy. Without the policy we cannot do anything, so that is very critical, and of course the Diaspora Commission Bill is also very critical,” she said.

Abike Dabiri 2She recalled that the Bill to create a Diaspora Commission was passed by the 7th Assembly but was not assented to and therefore urged the 8th National Assembly to revisit the bill.

She said that with the policy and commission, it would be important to have a database of Nigerians in the Diaspora with a view to reaping good benefits from them.

She added that the nation may be ignoring an untapped resource by not accommodating the Nigerians in Diaspora who have remitted over $21 billion dollars annually to the country.

“There is no better time to have Nigerians in Diaspora collaborating to get the best for Nigeria. The issue of Diaspora voting is also important but that would depend on the National Assembly if they decide to amend the constitution to make this possible. Perhaps the economic survival of Nigeria could depend a lot on the Nigerians in the Diaspora; if they were able to remit $21 billion in 2014 they can be able to do more. President Buhari is willing that is why for the first time he has an SSA on Diaspora, we have a committee in the Senate, we have a committee in the House. We have committed Nigerians in the diaspora who are contributing to the World economy so we have no excuse not to tap into this enormous human resource. Because of its importance, 26 countries have formed ministries for the diaspora, we should not let other countries beat us to it because ours is part of the largest population,” she said.


  1. Dee

    March 16, 2016 at 10:34 am

    Nigeria is a Country immensely blessed in human and natural resources yet so wasteful and complacent to put it politely. In last five years no less than $105bn has been put into the Nigerian economy by Nigerians living abroad, only Oil brings in more in foreign exchange earnings, so just imagine what these Nigeria’s can contribute if the Government engaged them effectively, and I am not just talking money here, the skills they can bring in Business, Medicine, Engineering, Computing and so on thus shouldn’t a whole ministry be dedicated to the Diaspora?

  2. Tee

    March 16, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I really hope this bill will now be passed , we need to encourage people of the diaspora to invest and develop their root, i hope the bill will give incentive to would be returnees by giving a concession on the payable fee for clearing of their personal effects at the ports, i understand even Zimbabwe has a policy the gives anyone over 5years abroad waiver on the customs fees at the ports . we should do everything possible to harness our human capacity potentials. though security and steady electricity with good infrastructure will also enhance the possibilities.

  3. slice

    March 16, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    iAs a sharp naija babe this thing sounds like the first step in a plan to send us tax bill. I won’t send my information

    • Engoz

      March 16, 2016 at 4:16 pm


    • Fan of Slice

      March 16, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      Slice, you got that right! I am sending my information!

    • Fan of Slice

      March 16, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      I meant “I am not sending my information”.

  4. fleur

    March 17, 2016 at 1:07 am

    Madam Dabiri, Process will be everything. Whatever bill you guys approve, process of assembling NIgerian talent will be the maker or killer of your initiative. When OBJ started the Nigerians in Diaspora project, all sorts of charlatans came out of the blues to take over the leadership. There were no standards going in. People who had been fired from honorable employment or who were unemployable by oyibo man’s establishment from day 1 quickly overtook the whole agenda. It became their organization – appear or join mouth at your risk. THey traveled every year to Abuja. Their greatest accomplishments – land in Abuja thanks to El Rufai and pictures with Baba. I am yet to see a product of the process. Perhaps nobody did evaluation, follow-up and due diligence reporting. The Nigerians with policy and practice skills stayed away for the most part. The ones with skills that cared to join the foray of the rejected-by-Americans-and-Brits were those close to retirement who saw this as the last opportunity to grab for fame and fortune. The ones with the content Obj needed stayed away because intelligent convo devoid of screaming matches and near-miss fights were a rarity. After a while the whole mission went underground. I guess no need in sharing national cake. Nothing fruitful came out of it in terms of benefits to the nation. As JFK would ask – what did they do for Nigeria? I am yet to see. To make sure this does not get hijacked yet again, I strongly recommend that you consider developing a verifiable directory of employed Nigerians and that you have a solid plan besides a welcome party when dignitaries visit the US for these people. In fact, develop topics for you want to engage them and use this as a recruitment tool. Let people apply to serve their country. Una self, make una bend down select. No free for alls. Now, I hear people calling me elitist. Not at all. It is okay to be self-employed. You just have to have some credibility in your professional community. If you are a fish farmer. It is wonderful.. Other fish farmers and fish buyers in your place of business in oyibo man’s land have to know you as a productive man or woman of that profession. That is all. Do not allow them transition from cab driver to economic advisor overnight. That can only yield disaster. Dont think Nigerians can stomach any more disasters. Their belle don full.

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