NIDCOM @ One:So Far, So Good

By Abdur-Rahman Balogun

It was a dream come true when on May 19, 2019, the hitherto office of Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs and the occupier, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa  transmuted to Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) following the Senate approval and confirmation of  Hon. Dabiri-Erewa as the Chairman/CEO of the new Commission. 

It was indeed a dream nurtured since 2007 when Hon. Abike Dabiri became the 

first chairperson of the newly created Committee on Diaspora Affairs by 

the then leadership of the House of Representatives. It was meant for 

members of the opposition without any structure to fall back on but with 

her dedication and dynamism, Diaspora committee, which has been replicated in the Senate too, is to be reckoned with.

So, for eight years out of the 12 years she spent in the parliament, Hon. Dabiri alongside her colleagues and some stakeholders tried to get the bill on Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission through but when passed was never assented to until 2017 when President Muhammadu Buhari signed the bill into law following the eventual passage by the eighth assembly and intense lobbying by Hon. Dabiri-Erewa as the Senior Special 

Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs.

But to actualize what was assented to, President Muhammadu Buhari in his 

wisdom, forwarded the name of the pioneer and visioner of the Act, to 

the Senate for approval as the Chairman/CEO of the new Commission in 2018 which was eventually materialized in May 2019 with the approval of Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the Chairman/CEO of the newly created Commission.

Permit me to reflect on the need for the establishment of the Commission. Over the past 20 years, with the massive exodus of Nigerian professionals out of Nigeria, labelled the ‘brain drain’ various 

initiatives were suggested to stem the tide including persuasion through the media, stringent visa requirements and others. This did not deter nor abate the trend due to the globalised nature of the world and the economic push-pull factors.

It was therefore proposed that initiatives and strategies be put in place for a meaningful interaction with the Diaspora to reverse the trend by turning it to brain gain which can only be achieved through a focal institution that will engage with the Diaspora on a continuous basis.

The call therefore for the setting up of a Diaspora Commission in Nigeria became imperative with the large numbers of professionals emigrating and this led to the processes leading to and the passage of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission bill in 2017.

The Commission in spite of the challenges of office accommodation, lack of budget and paucity of funds, hit the ground running to meet up with the challenges ahead within the confines of the three-point agenda of the Buhari government in terms of National Security, fighting Corruption and Economic Growth and Diversification.

It must be mentioned here that the Nigerian Diaspora is part and parcel 

of the population to bring about accelerated economic growth using their 

resources, intellect and global exposure. They are the real catalyst and 

asset for economic development of the country.

NIDCOM ACTIVITIES:

Since the establishment of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, a lot of 

activities have been embarked upon to fulfill the mandates of the 

Commission. Within a year, the Commission has lived up to expectations 

as it has performed as if it was in existence in the last 10 years.

  Such activities include advocacy to states to key into the larger Diaspora movement with the inauguration of Diaspora focal point in the Governors offices in all the states of the Federation.

  NIDCOM also ensured the consolidation of the declaration of July 25 every year, by the Federal Government of Nigeria as `National Diaspora Day’, a date set aside to recognise and appraise Nigerians in the 

Diaspora on their contributions to national development. This is to ensure networking, dialogue and constructive interface between Nigerian professionals and experts in the Diaspora and Nigerians at home on development challenges and opportunities.

  The second National Diaspora Day under the Commission with the theme 

“Leveraging Diaspora Resources for National Development in a Covid-19 

Era’’, took place on July 25, 2020. It was unique and extra-ordinary as 

it took place via a webinar conference with over 3,000 participants 

across the globe including President Muhammadu Buhari, who declared it 

open.

On November 5th and 6th, 2019, the Commission organised a successful 

second Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS) in Abuja with other 

stakeholders witnessing over 600 people from different parts of the world while the third one is being planned for November through webinar due to COVID-19 pandemic.

  As a follow-up to the Summit, on 18th and 19th December, 2019, two young Nigerians resident in Saudi Arabia, put together the first Saudi Arabia/Nigeria Investment Forum, an offshoot of the Nigerian Diaspora Investment Summit. It was also a great success.

 A major breakthrough for the Commission was the validation of the drafted holistic Diaspora policy in collaboration with other 

stakeholders which is currently awaiting the approval of Federal Executive Council. This will solve a lot of challenges affecting 

Diaspora activities in the country.

Of course, with Nigerians in Diaspora contributing so much to the Nigerian Economy, estimated at over 25 billion US dollars in 2019, it is widely believe that they deserve to vote. So, the Commission already working with the National Assembly and other stakeholders to hopefully makes this a reality in Nigeria through amendment to the country’s 

Electoral Act.

Other activities of NIDCOM

The Commission through its Chairman/CEO or her representatives had participated in many activities within and outside the country geared towards advancing the course of Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Such activities include the participation of Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa in the 25th anniversary of Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA) wherein she was amazed at the quality of Nigerians doctors as the best brains in the Americas.

Visitation to Ghana and South African High Commissions and Togolese 

Embassy: – In line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s desire that the 

welfare and well-being of Nigerians anywhere in the world is top 

priority, the Commission paid a swift intervention visits to both Ghana 

and South Africa High Commissions and Togolese Embassy all in Abuja to 

put a stop to the indiscriminate xenophobic related killings of 

Nigerians insisting that it is highly reprehensible, condemnable and 

unacceptable.

Intervention with respect to Zainab Aliyu and Ibrahim Ibrahim’s cases in Saudi Arabia and others: The Commission was at the forefront for the release of Zainab Aliyu on death row by the Saudi Arabian government for alleged drug related offences as well as Ibrahim Ibrahim. The Commission intervened positively in rescuing other Nigerians in such dilemma in Malaysia, Oman, U.A.E., China, Brazil, Morocco, Singapore, India, Kenya, 

Lebanon, Qatar and Ethiopia.

Data capturing of Nigerians in Diaspora: One of the objectives of the Commission is to have adequate data of Nigerians living abroad for effective planning purposes and the flag off was done in partnership with National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) where the enrolment took the Commission to some parts of West Africa, Europe, Asia and Americas.

Nigerians in Prisons: Sadly enough, Nigerians are in various prison cells serving various jail terms. The Commission under Hon. Abike 

Dabiri-Erewa does visit some prisons outside the country to inquire about the welfare of the Nigerian inmates and see what could be done to assist them. This again, demonstrates the citizen diplomacy stance of President Muhammadu Buhari.

NIDCOM meeting with stakeholders:  Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa assisted by the Secretary of the Commission, Engr. Dr. Yakubu Sule Bassi and other top management of the Commission at various times do interact with 

stakeholders such as International Organization for Migration (IOM), 

National Youth Service Commission, EFCC, Governor of Central Bank of 

Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, 

International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), International Labour Organization and Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria among several others to see how collaboration with the Commission will enhance better opportunities for the Nigerians abroad.

  Inauguration of some NIDO Chapters:  The Commission under the leadership of Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa also led some Commission staff to witness the inauguration of the NIDO Sierra Leone Chapter wherein they were counselled to be good ambassadors of Nigeria.

Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa: Following interventions to ameliorate series of attacks on black Africans in South Africa including Nigerians, NIDCOM received the first and second batches of stranded Nigerians back home in Lagos on Sept. 11, 2019 and Sept. 18, 2019 

respectively with a total of 501 Nigeria returnees. They received sim cards with N40, 000 worth of airtime plus 9GB of data valid for two months, as well as a soft loan from the Bank of Industry to support those interested in small trade and businesses. While a programme of 

re-integration has been put in place with the support of some NGOs and their respective states of origin which had been written by NIDCOM after the returnees had been profiled for necessary assistance.

Visit to Comptroller General of Immigration Service:  Inundated with 

series of immigration issues from the Nigerians in the Diaspora, the 

Chairman/CEO led top officials of the Commission to meet with the 

Comptroller General of Immigration, Mohammed Babandede on a fact finding 

mission and way out of some of the issues especially on passport issuance, renewal and the new scheme recently introduced by the Service to ease passport procurement by Nigerians anywhere in the world. The meeting was fruitful and mutually rewarding.

Engagement with National Assembly Committees: NIDCOM Management team 

from time to time do engage with relevant National Assembly committees to brief them on the activities of the Commission and solicit for more support especially in the areas of funding and necessary legislative interventions to make the take off of the new Commission smooth.

Official visit to Ministry Of Foreign Affairs: As the new baby of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa equally met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama and other top 

officials of the ministry as matter of courtesy. Top on the agenda were 

some of the challenges confronting the new Commission and solicited for 

assistance in nurturing the Commission into meeting up with its core mandates.

Media Engagements:  From time to time as it may be required, NIDCOM issued various statements and interfaced with the media especially on issues as it affects the welfare of Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Diaspora Town Hall Meetings:  NIDCOM boss in entourage of Mr. President 

on state visit do organise town hall meetings for Nigerians living 

abroad to meet and interact with Mr. President and discuss issues 

affecting their welfare while using the opportunity to also brief 

Nigerians in Diaspora on efforts being made by the administration to 

revamp the economy, tackle insecurity and fight corruption to a 

standstill in the country.

Petitions: On daily basis, NIDCOM treats petitions of Nigerians in the Diaspora received in its known mail addresses: ssa@diaspora.gov.ng and 

admin@nidcom.gov.ng, as it affects their welfare and get it resolved as soon as possible.

Enlightenment/Advocacy:  NIDCOM Chairman or her representatives devote 

time to engage Nigerians both within and outside the country on advocacy 

and enlightenment on the mandate of the Commission by delivering lectures, goodwill messages and talks on various Diaspora related issues.

Diaspora Festival: The Commission in conjunction with some private sector NGOs held the third in the series of Diaspora Door of Return in Badagry in Lagos from October 15 to 20, 2019 where the Diasporas made a pilgrimage to the motherland, reminiscencing of the slaves’ trade of the 18th and 19th centuries.

12th All African Games: NIDCOM was part of the delegation that cheered Team Nigeria to victory at the 12thAll African Games which took place in Rabat, Morocco from August 14 to 31, 2019, where Nigeria came second in the overall medal table.

Donation from a Patriotic citizen: A patriotic two-time Nigeria cancer survivor donated her one month salary (#500,000) to children of the Nigeria South Africa returnees through NIDCOM.

Intervention: Multi Choice and NDE showered Mrs. Esther Iyoha, a widow, 

mother of four (4) and a South Africa returnee with N2.5 million. In the same vein, NIDCOM also promised to sponsor one of her children’s education.

NIDCOM Boss Received Nigerian MBE Award Philanthropist: Mrs. Olasubomi 

Iginla-Aina CEO Light Up Foundation, a Nigerian, was honoured with the 

insignia of MBE in London to mark the Queen’s Birthday for her humanitarian effort. In return, NIDCOM boss awarded her as the Commission’s first Diaspora Ambassador. Many more Nigerians were 

recognized for their wonderful contributions to their host country and 

Nigeria as a way of encouraging others and for them to do more

Visit to World Bank Director: Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa led a delegation to visit the World Bank Director of Nigeria Africa Region, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri; where issues of Diaspora remittances and collaboration with the World Bank took the centre stage.

COVID-19 AND NIDCOM: Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 

pandemic lockdown, the Commission remains active online as a necessary 

tool to link up with the Nigerians abroad. It was through this effort that the commission launched a portal wherein it coordinated the collation of data of Nigerians stranded abroad and facilitated the evacuation of over 9,000 stranded Nigerians back home in conjunction 

with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other agencies. Regrettably, 

Nigeria lost over 50 of her citizens to covid-19 pandemic abroad. May 

their gentle souls rest in perfect peace.

FUTURE PLANS:

Undoubtedly, it is a statement of fact that within 12 months of the Commission existence, it has really lived up to expectations and even surpassed it, though not yet uhuru, as Nigerians in the Diaspora is assured that their interest and welfare will continue to be adequately 

taken care of.

In addition to the sustainability of the above achievements, the 

Commission intends in the years ahead to work with stakeholders to do 

DIASPORA MAPPING geared towards having a data of Nigerians living abroad 

for effective planning.

More importantly, the commission intends to re- launch DIASPORA BONDS in 

collaboration with Debt Management Office just as the $300 million 

Diaspora bonds was successfully launched in 2017.

In the years ahead, the Commission intends to have a regular DIASPORA 

CHAMPIONS and AWARDS to deserving Nigerians in the Diaspora as a way of 

encouraging them to be good ambassadors of the country.

Equally, the Commission will work with National Assembly relevant 

committees to ensure DIASPORA VOTING for Nigerians living abroad through 

amendments to some electoral laws.

CHALLENGES: Despite two major challenges facing the Commission, which is lack of office accommodation and paucity of funds, the Chairman/CEO, 

Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has vowed not to be cowed by the challenges but to forge ahead and ensure that Nigerians in the Diaspora are not shortchanged in the scheme of things.

Above all, with the establishment of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, which has been a veritable link in many areas of human endeavours to ease the task of Nigerians in Diaspora in engaging with 

the Nigerian economy, it is expected that all Nigerians in the Diaspora will reciprocate the gesture by continuing to be good Ambassadors and project the good name of the country wherever they may find themselves. 

The Commission shall continue to celebrate her heroes and heroines in 

the Diaspora.

Abdur-Rahman Balogun is the Head, Media, Public Relations and Protocols 

Unit

Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abuja (rahmor2001@yahoo.com)

55 thoughts on “NIDCOM @ One:So Far, So Good

  • March 14, 2021 at 10:58 am
    Permalink

    136675 604382Woh Everyone loves you , bookmarked ! My partner and i take problem in your last point. 80356

  • March 14, 2021 at 8:43 pm
    Permalink

    823607 191659Do you have a spam issue on this site; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have created some nice methods and we are looking to swap strategies with others, be sure to shoot me an email if interested. 701510

  • April 12, 2021 at 5:52 pm
    Permalink

    Hi there! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against
    hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?
    0mniartist asmr

  • April 16, 2021 at 12:50 am
    Permalink

    What’s up to every single one, it’s truly a pleasant for me to go to see this web site, it consists of helpful Information. 0mniartist asmr

  • April 22, 2021 at 6:04 am
    Permalink

    51605 606024There is noticeably a good deal to realize about this. I suppose you produced certain good points in features also. 923214

  • April 28, 2021 at 3:53 am
    Permalink

    Hi there friends, fastidious post and fastidious arguments commented here, I am actually enjoying by these.

  • April 28, 2021 at 11:32 pm
    Permalink

    Having read this I thought it was really enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this article together.

    I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

  • April 29, 2021 at 5:31 am
    Permalink

    When someone writes an piece of writing he/she retains the thought of a user in his/her mind that how a user can know it.
    Therefore that’s why this article is amazing. Thanks!

  • April 29, 2021 at 6:02 pm
    Permalink

    Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your
    web site is wonderful, let alone the content!

  • May 4, 2021 at 2:00 am
    Permalink

    I read this paragraph completely about the comparison of
    most up-to-date and preceding technologies, it’s awesome article.

  • May 4, 2021 at 12:12 pm
    Permalink

    Wonderful site you have here but I was curious if you
    knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about here?
    I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get comments from other experienced people that share the
    same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Thanks a lot!

  • May 7, 2021 at 1:41 pm
    Permalink

    I’m excited to uncover this great site. I wanted to thank you for your time due
    to this fantastic read!! I definitely liked every part of it and i also
    have you saved to fav to see new information on your website.

  • May 8, 2021 at 4:24 am
    Permalink

    I am extremely impressed with your writing skills as well
    as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you
    modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice
    quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one today.

  • May 9, 2021 at 5:25 am
    Permalink

    Hi i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read this
    post i thought i could also create comment due to this good article.

  • May 15, 2021 at 9:18 am
    Permalink

    scoliosis
    Great blog you have here.. It’s difficult to find good
    quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!! scoliosis

  • May 16, 2021 at 11:56 pm
    Permalink

    scoliosis
    I savor, lead to I found just what I was looking for.
    You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.
    Bye scoliosis

  • May 19, 2021 at 1:06 pm
    Permalink

    scoliosis
    Hello all, here every one is sharing these familiarity, thus
    it’s good to read this webpage, and I used to pay a visit this
    blog daily. scoliosis

  • May 20, 2021 at 4:51 am
    Permalink

    dating sites
    I blog quite often and I really appreciate your content.
    The article has really peaked my interest. I’m going to book
    mark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week.

    I subscribed to your Feed as well. dating sites https://785days.tumblr.com/

  • May 20, 2021 at 1:42 pm
    Permalink

    free dating sites
    Because the admin of this website is working, no
    question very rapidly it will be renowned, due to its quality contents.

    dating sites

  • May 21, 2021 at 3:06 pm
    Permalink

    Hello, of course this piece of writing is genuinely nice and
    I have learned lot of things from it regarding blogging. thanks.

  • May 26, 2021 at 11:44 am
    Permalink

    It’s the best time to make some plans for the long run and
    it is time to be happy. I’ve read this submit and if I may just I want to counsel
    you some interesting things or advice. Perhaps you can write next
    articles referring to this article. I desire to read more issues about it!

  • May 26, 2021 at 4:16 pm
    Permalink

    This paragraph is genuinely a nice one it assists new net users, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

  • May 29, 2021 at 5:05 pm
    Permalink

    May I simply say what a relief to discover an individual
    who actually knows what they’re talking about on the internet.

    You actually realize how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More and more people have to read this and understand this side of
    your story. I can’t believe you’re not more popular
    because you most certainly have the gift.

  • May 30, 2021 at 4:55 pm
    Permalink

    First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you
    don’t mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing.
    I’ve had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes
    tend to be wasted just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips?
    Thank you!

  • May 31, 2021 at 6:30 am
    Permalink

    I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any
    interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me.
    In my opinion, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the
    web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  • May 31, 2021 at 3:51 pm
    Permalink

    I’m not sure why but this web site is loading very slow for me.

    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  • June 1, 2021 at 5:01 am
    Permalink

    You can certainly see your skills within the article you write.

    The world hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe.
    All the time go after your heart.

  • July 26, 2021 at 6:43 am
    Permalink

    591796 154234Hello DropshipDragon provides dropping for quality, affordable products direct from China to your customers. Perfect for eBay sellers and web site owners alike! 722357

  • August 9, 2021 at 1:01 pm
    Permalink

    Highly energetic post, I loved that bit. Will there be a
    part 2?

  • August 11, 2021 at 5:57 am
    Permalink

    I’ve been browsing online more than three hours nowadays, yet I by no means discovered any interesting article like yours.
    It’s lovely price sufficient for me. Personally, if all
    site owners and bloggers made good content as you probably did,
    the internet shall be a lot more helpful than ever before.

  • August 11, 2021 at 9:17 am
    Permalink

    Asking questions are truly nice thing if you are not understanding something fully,
    except this post offers fastidious understanding even.

  • August 12, 2021 at 12:12 am
    Permalink

    Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if
    you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping
    maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  • August 14, 2021 at 10:11 am
    Permalink

    Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you
    been blogginng for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of
    your site is fantastic, let alone the content!
    Sòng bạc bằng tiếng Nga site đánh
    bạc miễn phí và không cần đăng ký

  • August 16, 2021 at 8:36 am
    Permalink

    Yesterday, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a 25 foot drop, just
    so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  • August 17, 2021 at 8:29 am
    Permalink

    There is certainly a lot to find out about this issue.
    I love all of the points you’ve made.

  • August 22, 2021 at 4:55 pm
    Permalink

    Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the wonderful works guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

  • August 25, 2021 at 4:45 pm
    Permalink

    I’d like to find out more? I’d like to find out some additional information.

  • September 1, 2021 at 11:33 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks , I have recently been searching for info about this topic for ages and
    yours is the greatest I have came upon so far.
    However, what about the conclusion? Are you positive in regards to the supply?

  • September 2, 2021 at 12:15 am
    Permalink

    It’s hard to find experienced people for this subject, but you
    seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • September 4, 2021 at 11:31 am
    Permalink

    I visited various web sites however the audio feature for audio songs existing at this web page
    is actually excellent.

  • September 5, 2021 at 3:51 pm
    Permalink

    I am really impressed together with your writing talents as smartly as with the
    format to your blog. Is that this a paid subject or did
    you modify it your self? Anyway stay up the nice quality writing,
    it’s uncommon to look a nice weblog like this one today..

  • September 11, 2021 at 1:58 am
    Permalink

    My brother recommended I might like this website.
    He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just
    how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!
    cheap flights http://1704milesapart.tumblr.com/ cheap flights

  • September 12, 2021 at 9:25 am
    Permalink

    It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I’m happy that you
    just shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like
    this. Thank you for sharing. scoliosis surgery https://0401mm.tumblr.com/ scoliosis surgery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: