NIDCOM sets to hold inaugural town hall meeting

By Rahila Lassa, Abuja

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The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission NIDCOM says it has concluded plans to hold its inaugural town hall meeting in 2020.

The Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Sule Yakubu Bassi, said this when he received Mr. Macaulay Kanu, Chairman, AU 6th Region Canada (AU6RC) and Policy Adviser, Diaspora Affairs, African Union, (AU).

He said the meeting was to effectively engage the Diaspora at the grassroots level through the Diaspora Focal Point Officers at various states of the federation.

Dr Bassi, who received the delegation on behalf of Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO of the Commission, said their coming was timely as many projects had been lined up for the coming year.

He attributed the excellent feats of many Nigerians abroad to resources, skills and talents, as well as comporting themselves as good Nigerian Ambassadors.

According to him, investing back home through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects, medical missions, donations and establishing companies, is paramount to sustainable growth for the nation’s economy.

The NIDCOM Secretary added that within six months of its existence, the Commission had successfully held many activities such as third Badagry Door of Return ceremony, second Nigerian Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS), Diaspora Day on July 25, and other interventions.

He said that with the prompting from the Commission, many states in Nigeria now mark their own respective Diaspora days.

Bassi added that 16 states in Nigeria have Diaspora Focal Points within the offices of their respective Governors, with nine states producing two Commissioners, three Special Advisers and four Senior Special Assistants on Diaspora.

Establishment of commission

For his part, Mr. Macauley Kanu expressed his delight on the establishment of the Commission.

The AU Policy Adviser expressed his wish for Nigeria to be a trail blazer in diaspora affairs, as some African countries had invested heavily in diaspora related matters.

He expressed the readiness of AU to facilitate states on the best diaspora practices, which ranges from research to support system in diaspora mapping.

Kanu urged Nigerians to tap into the Decade of People of African Descent, a UN event set up to recognise that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected.

The AU6RC Chairman said a pilot project had been kick-started to help women and youths, saying that the project was adopted by diasporans in Canada to form a consortium to strategise and help create jobs for young Africans.

He announced that the project will be launched in every African state, with a focus on six interventions, known as TRADES which stands for “Technology, Retail, Agronomy, Development and 4Es (Education, Entrepreneurship, Employment, Engagement) and Skills Development”, that will help to tackle unemployment and boost youth empowerment in Africa.

 

Emmanuel Ukoh