The National Assembly and the Presidency are partnering on a new diaspora policy to carter for the needs and inclusiveness of Nigerians abroad.
Leading a delegation to visit the chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora, Sen. Rose Oko in Abuja on Tuesday, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Relations, said that the potentials of Nigerians in the diaspora could not be effectively harnessed without a diaspora policy and a commission to carter for Nigerians in the diaspora.
Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa stressed that Nigeria does not have a diaspora policy, and must have one as soon as possible. A diaspora policy and commission is very important to the country as it would enable us have a database of Nigerians in the Diaspora with a view to reaping good benefits from them.
The SSA to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Relations added that the nation may be ignoring an untapped resources by not accommodating the Nigerians in Diaspora who remit over $21 billion dollars annually to the country.
Every Nigerian in the diaspora will be incorporated to contribute to the policy, Mrs Erewa said, adding that, it is very critical as without the policy, nothing can be done.
She said in crafting a diaspora policy, they will be working in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the House and Senate Committees on Diaspora. This policy would be like a thrust for every other thing her office would work on, and that will start very soon.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa urged the National Assembly to revisit the Diaspora Commission Bill which was passed by the 7th Assembly but was not assented to, stressing that the issue of Diaspora voting would be beneficial to the country but would depend on the National Assembly if they decide to amend the constitution to make it possible.
She said that President Buhari’s administration is willing, which is why for the first time an SSA on Diaspora was appointed, a committee in the Senate, and also a committee in the House.