ABUJA, JULY 4, 2014 – Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora has described the signing into law of the Diaspora Commission Bill by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo as “a welcome development’’.
Dabiri-Erewa, recalled in a statement in Abuja on Monday that the Bill was introduced by her six years ago when she was the chairperson of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs.
“I’m so excited on the signing of the bill into law after introducing this bill to the parliament about six years ago. Finally, it’s now a law; we thank God.
“Our advocacy for a one-stop agency for diaspora matters is finally a reality,’’ the elated SSA said.
“I thank the National Assembly for passing the bill second time around and for President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration finally signing it into law by the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.’’
Dabiri-Erewa said that 26 countries had full ministries for the Diaspora and “having a commission for our almost 15 million Nigerians abroad is a most welcome development’’.
She recalled that Nigeria in June successfully floated a 300 million dollar Diaspora bond, saying that Nigerians abroad were willing and eager to contribute to the development of their nation.
“With the signing of the Bill into law, the head of the commission will be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate,” she said.
She explained that the Diaspora Commission Act “establishes the commission under the supervisory jurisdiction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The ministry has the responsibility to coordinate and organise Nigerians in and from the Diaspora to contribute human capital and material resources, including expertise, for the development of Nigeria.
“It will also provide a database of Nigerians on various fields and potential as resource base for Nigeria and the world to draw from as well as protect the interest of all Nigerians,” she said.