The Chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NDC), Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said on Tuesday a Diaspora Policy for Nigeria has been sent to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for ratification.
Dabiri-Erewa disclosed this to State House correspondents after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
She expressed optimism that the document would be considered by FEC in the New Year.
The chairman said she was in the Villa to brief the President on the activities of the Commission which was established in May.
Dabiri-Erewa said: “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.
“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.’’
Dabiri-Erewa said she briefed the President on the short, medium and long term goals of the Commission.
According to her, President Buhari had instructed that wherever Nigerians were, their welfare should be paramount.
The Commission, she said, is always engaging with Nigerians wherever they are to make sure no one is neglected.
Dabiri-Erewa added: “So, 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.”