Nigeria has begun the process of joining the league of countries with National Diaspora Policy following the setting up of a technical team saddled with the task of coming up with final draft of the Policy in January 2017.
This was the resolution of stakeholders after a seven –hour validation seminar on the 68-page draft policy jointly organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Office of the Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora.
Declaring the seminar open, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, said there was the need to promote the capacity of Nigerians abroad to achieve the “immense potential of the Diaspora’’
Onyeama who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Amb. Sola Enikanolaiye, said the Federal Government would support all efforts to ensure the inclusion of Nigerians abroad in future elections.
He added that enhanced inclusion of Nigerians abroad in the voting process would support their contributions to national development and such policy that would see to the empowerment of Nigerians in the Diaspora as change agents for national development should be hastened up.
Earlier in her opening remarks, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, also emphasised the need to have a national Diaspora policy, saying a number of African countries are already ahead of Nigeria in that regard.
She said having a viable Diaspora policy would address the concerns of Nigerians abroad.
“We cannot ignore our Diaspora; when Ireland went into recession they reached out to their Diaspora community and one thousand of them saved the country from recession.