Nigerian Missions Abroad To Get Diaspora Desks – Dabiri
Prince Charles Dickson, Abuja
December 26th, 2008
Hon. Abike Dabiri, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, has said that the Committee was working on citizens diplomacy by creating Diaspora desks in all Nigerian missons abroad.
In a statement issued in Abuja by the Committee, Dabiri made the remark at a conference organised in London by the Nigeria Universities Commission (NUC).
The conference was tagged:” Linkages with Experts and Academicians in Diaspora” (LEAD).
The lawmaker said there was need to build confidence back home as well as among Nigerians in Diaspora to make them contribute their quota to the development of the nation.
“We need to build confidence back home as well as amongst Nigerians in Diaspora with a bid to make them contribute their bit to the development of Nigeria.
“We also need to work on citizens diplomacy by creating Diaspora desks in all embassies and High Commissions abroad”, she said.
Apparently worried about the image of Nigeria abroad, the lawmaker said the National Assembly would do everything possible through legislation to make Nigerians living abroad enjoy their stay overseas as well as project good image for Nigeria.
“Nigerians abroad have to be properly treated, no matter their status, be they drug dealers in Indonesia, prostitutes in Italy or professionals, this will give them a sense of belonging that will in turn encourage them to contribute to Nigeria’s development,” Dabiri said.
Dabiri also disclosed that the total remittance of Nigerians in Diaspora was not less than N18 Billion annually.
She said no fewer than three million Nigerians were living in the United Kingdom alone, adding that the number could transform Nigeria if they gave a bit of their expertise to the Nigerian Project.
Dabiri said the London conference was not just a “talk shop” but a call to action by all stakeholders to see how everybody could contribute to the development of the nation.
She said the conference was the first of its kind, adding that others would be held in Europe and the U.S to harness the potentials of Nigerians in Diaspora.