A former member of Nigeria’s Federal House of Representatives has been appointed the Senior Special Assistant on Foreign and Diaspora Affairs to the President.
The appointment of Abike Dabiri-Erewa, a leading member of the ruling APC, is interpreted as a sign of the government’s recognition of the enormous contributions of the Diaspora to Nigeria’s development. The World Bank Migration and Remittances Factbook 2016 showed that Nigerians living abroad sent home US$20.8 billion in 2015. The figure is by far the largest volume of remittances to any country in Africa and the sixth largest in the world.
Ms Dabiri-Erewa (52), who was the chairperson of the Committee on Diaspora in her days in the House from 2003 to 2011, enjoys a very good relationship with the Nigerian Diaspora. A television broadcaster before joining politics, Dabiri-Erewa is expected to increase the role of Nigerians abroad in national development.
Kenneth Gbandi, president of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Germany, described the appointment, the first of its kind, as proper and one that would “enable the Diaspora to better interact with the Buhari administration”.
Photo: President Buhari (right) with his new SSA on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa (© NAN)