Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has inaugurated a committee for the establishment of an agency to cater to affairs concerning Edo indigenes living outside the country.
The 8-member Steering Committee for the establishment of the Edo State Diaspora Agency was inaugurated at a virtual ceremony on Wednesday (4 August) during which the Governor emphasised his government’s intention to more actively engage the diaspora for the development of Edo State.
Members of the committee are Anthony Okungbowa, the state’s Head of Service who will serve as chairman, Ambassador Adesuwa Uwaifo (based in Tanzania), Chris Osarumwense, Dr Loretta Ogoro-Okor (UK) and Soni Irabor. Other members are Dr Johnson Odibo, chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) Switzerland, Prof Isa Odidi (Canada) and Isaac Ebewele.
The Terms of Reference for the Ad-Hoc Committee are:
1. To prepare a draft bill for the establishment of the Edo State Diaspora Agency law;
2. To prepare a detailed start-up plan for the Edo State Diaspora Agency;
3. To define the resource requirements for the take-off of the Agency;
4. To source for the Chairman and the Director General of the Agency and recommend same to the Governor for approval;
5. To facilitate internal and external collaborations with stakeholders;
6. To consider any other matter incidental to 1-5; and
7. To make recommendations to Government as may be deemed necessary
The committee is expected to complete its assignment within 30 days.
While there is a national agency, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, catering to issues concerning Nigerians living outside of their home country, states are yet to establish similar institutions.
Edo State, which has one of the largest communities in the Nigerian diaspora, is blazing a trail by its intention to establish the Edo State Diaspora Agency.