Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, representing President Tinubu, cuts the 17th Nigerian Diaspora Day anniversary cake while Dr Dabiri-Erewa looks on. Holding the microphone is Dr Bashir Obasekola, Chairman of NIDO Europe/Photo: NiDCOM

Nigeria: President promises diaspora-friendly government

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Tuesday assured Nigerians in the diaspora that his administration would give special priority to diaspora engagement in its Renewed Hope agenda.

Speaking through his Chief of Staff, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, at the opening of the 17th National Diaspora Day (NDD) event in Abuja, the president said that his administration would be a diaspora-friendly government and would initiate effective national policies for diaspora engagement.

Describing the theme of the National Diaspora Day, “Consolidating Diaspora Engagement for National Development”, as apt, he said Nigeria was under a new political dispensation that is geared towards making Nigeria better.

He recalled that Nigerians living abroad are contributing in many ways to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and are passionate about the affairs of the nation.

Tinubu called on Nigerians abroad to join hands with his administration in the rebuilding of the country and commended the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) for its commitment towards an enhanced diaspora engagement, promising adequate support to the Commission.

Earlier, the Governor of Borno state, Prof. Babagana Zulum, represented by his deputy, Umar Usman Kadafur, congratulated Nigerians the world over for being exceptional in diverse fields.

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He state that Nigerians in the diaspora are a positive factor for national growth, urging that all hands must be on deck to make the country great.

The governor lauded Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/CEO of NiDCOM, for her vision and passion for diaspora engagement and assured that the people and government of Borno state would support the Commission and the federal government in fostering diaspora investments.

In his remarks, Ambassador Adamu Ibrahim Lamuwa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented by Ambassador Samson Itegboje, applauded Nigerians in the diaspora for their contributions to the development of Nigeria.

He commended NiDCOM for all its efforts and promised to work hand in hand with the Commission for better diaspora relations.

Earlier in her welcome Speech, Dr Dabiri-Erewa said she was very elated at this year’s celebrations, being the first time the event would feature the Diaspora Merit Awards.

According to her, the Awards were introduced to recognise outstanding Nigerians who have been making the country proud of their achievements in various fields of human endeavours around the world.

She canvassed for a national holiday for the Nigerian Diaspora Day celebrations.

The NiDCOM chief stated that in the last four years, the Commission had tirelessly worked to harmonise relations between Nigeria and its diaspora.

Dabiri-Erewa, however, used the opportunity to solicit for more support to empower the Commission by reviewing its Act.

The Diaspora Day, featuring exhibitions, panel discussions, interviews and goodwill messages, among others, takes place annually on 25 July and it’s attended by Nigerians from across the globe.

Abdur-Rahman Balogun


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