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Senators want Diaspora Commission upgraded to ministry

Members of the Senate Committee on Diaspora and nongovernmental organisations yesterday recommended that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) be upgraded to a full-fledged ministry.…

Members of the Senate Committee on Diaspora and nongovernmental organisations yesterday recommended that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) be upgraded to a full-fledged ministry.

They spoke during the committee’s engagement with the officials of the NiDCOM, led by its chairman, Abike Dabiri-Erewa at the National Assembly, Abuja. 

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Dabiri-Erewa had told the lawmakers that poor funding was limiting the commission from meeting its obligations to Nigerians in foreign countries, especially those in critical situation.

She said there was no provision for foreign trips for the commission’s officials.

Dabiri-Erewa said, “It is in the act that we should have five diasporan offices, but we don’t have money. 

“We plead to the National Assembly to assist us so that we could have continental offices so that we would be able to have direct access to Nigerians in the Disapora.

“Our inability to have offices abroad is not allowing us to engage 10 per cent of Nigerians in the Diaspora.”

The chairman of the committee, Senator Michael Nnachi, said the responsibilities placed on the NiDCOM was more than what an agency could handle. 

He said, “There is the need to upgrade NIDCOM to a full-flegded ministry. The legal department should start work towards the review of the Act.

“The National Assembly is ready to support and work with you to make your agency a full-fledged ministry

“That would enable you to have adequate funding to sustain you and empower the agency to carry out its mandate. 

“We believe that your agency has a lot of responsibilities to the Nigerian in the Diaspora. We need to encourage them to come and invest here.

“NIDCOM has a lot of roles to play. The leadership of the National Assembly will be interested in you delivering on your mandate.”

 

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