…engages NIDOA in virtual meeting development of Nigeria
By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa has urged Africa leaders to find a permanent solution to the ill-treatment being meted to Blacks by the global community, insisting there would a problem if allowed to fester.
He also urged Nigerian Diaspora in the Americas, NIDOA to take advantage of the investment opportunities offered by President Muhammadu Buhari back home back to achieve economic diversification.
Dabiri-Erewa gave the charges while holding a virtual meeting with members of NIDOA last Saturday on the theme “Challenges and Way Forward.”
A statement signed by the NIDOA Continental Board of Trustees, Chairman, Eng. Obed Muonago and sent to Vanguard office in Abuja on Tuesday stated that the Presidential aide spoke on various issues troubling African and in particular Nigerians in the diaspora.
“As long as you are a black person and the world looks down on Africans, we have a problem. Africans must come together to develop the African continent,” she said.
Concerning the maltreatment of Nigerians in China, she expressed her disappointment regarding the matter and relayed that she is in touch the Chinese embassy in Nigeria as well as the NIDO chapter in China.
“I will be very realistic about the problem of Nigerians in China. What I am seeing is that they do not want Nigerians in China. It is being taken to the highest level of government. This is something that not just Nigeria, but Africa has to take very seriously. It is still tough for Nigerians in China. You can practice your law but do not discriminate. There has to be a permanent solution to Blacks being mistreated,” she said.
Obed in the statement stated that the virtual meeting had close to 800 registered participants from across the Americas and over 1.6K live streams on social media.
He said: “Hon. Dabiri-Erewa spoke about various issues affecting Nigerians in the diaspora including The diaspora involvement in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, repatriation of Nigerians stranded in various part of the world due to the lockdown, maltreatment of Nigerians in China, provision of a conducive atmosphere for Nigerians in the diaspora to contribute to the socio-economic development of Nigeria and how members of the diaspora can work more closely with NiDCOM.
“The discussion also focused on the impact of corruption and what the federal government is doing to curtail it, how to stop the brain drain and the role of the Nigerians in the diaspora in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.”
Obed added that “Dabiri-Erewa assured Nigerians living abroad that the commission will incessantly work towards the engagement of Nigerians in the diaspora in the policies, projects and participation in the development of Nigeria and for the purpose of exploiting the human capital and material resources of the diaspora towards the socio-economic, cultural and political development of the country.”
Recognising the financial donations of Nigerians regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the NIDOCM chairman also emphasised the need for Nigerians in the diaspora to take advantage of investment opportunities in the country as President Muhammadu Buhari has created an enabling and favourable environment for them to contribute. She specifically highlighted the areas of solar energy and healthcare as areas that many are interested in.
On the plan to involve people of African descent whose ancestors were taken away as slaves from Nigeria, Dabiri-Erewa shared that there has been a Door of Return program happening for four years that has brought them to connect with their roots physically, spiritually and economically.
Regarding Nigerians stranded in many parts of the world due to COVID-19 lockdown, she confirmed that the federal government was working hard to bring them home.
Speaking on the diaspora participation in elections in regards to voting, Dabiri-Erewa encouraged members of the diaspora to join with NiDCOM to lobby parliament, especially because the constitution will be amended soon.
She also updated the diaspora on the achievements of the commission in the last one year and stressed the importance of Nigerians abroad working with the commission in the realisation of various goals that will ultimately benefit the diaspora and Nigeria.
“Underscoring the importance of unity, she said that the commission will work to strengthen NIDO and unify registered Nigerian organizations. She shed light the importance of the media in promoting a positive image of Nigeria and looks forward to working with various television channels and media platforms to promote the amazing achievements of the Nigerian diaspora worldwide.
“Hon. Dabiri-Orewa announced that the commission will soon be launching a secure web portal to provide a database of Nigerians in the diaspora. She encouraged them to stay in touch with NiDCOM, communicate their ideas and suggestions. For those interested in investing in Nigeria, she urged them to use NiDCOM if they need advice or guidance. The meeting ended in a hearty way with a happy birthday song in celebration of Hon. Abike’s one year in office”, the statement added.
Other organizers and stakeholders who participated in the meeting included Chairman, Nigerian and Canadian Business Network (NCBN), King Wale Adesanya; NGEX boss, Obinna Anusiem; President-Elect, Nigerian American Lawyers Association (NALA), Samuel Adewusi; Legal Adviser, NIDO Americas, Barr. Mike Essien; Leader, Organization of Nigerian Nationals (ONN), Dr. Richard Nwachukwu and Chairman, Nigerian Diaspora Movement (NDM), Prof. Apollos Nwauwa.
Others were the President Nigerian American Lawyers Association (NALA); Attorney Charlita Ablakwa; Chairman, Promised land Ministry/ Indigo Graphic, Segun Olude; chairman, Leadership and Governance Canada, Sam Adewale; Chairman, US-Nigeria Trade Council, Titus Olowokere; the Leader, Nigeria America Business Forum, Ken Shobola; chairman, DJT Entertainment, Tunde Elegbede; chairman, Afro-Global TV, Patricia Bebia Mawa; chairman, APC-USA, Dele Alada and Prince Henry Adesanya; Vice Chairman, Continental BOT NIDO Americas, Darlington George; Chairman NIDOA USA, Isaac Inyang; Chairman NIDOA Canada, Phillip Eto; Chairman NIDOA Brazil, Yusuf Adesina, MD; and Public Relations Director, NIDO Americas, Zee Nagberi.