The lawmaker representing Oluyole Federal Constituency and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, has said Nigerians in diaspora are not criminals, but people who are adding value across the world.
Akande-Sadipe stated this on Friday in Abuja at the launch of National Diaspora Policy by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM).
“We are not criminals but a people who are adding value across the world. Nigerian adults and children are making their positive mark and contributions worldwide; our positive narrative is greater than the negative, we and the world need to embrace that.
“A large number of those in diaspora are professionals with specialization in all fields of human endeavour, including education, research, medicine, law, ICT, engineering etc. This represents a large pool of human resource capacity that needs to be effectively engaged and coordinated to promote national development. These our diasporans are changing the narrative, helping to showcase Nigeria as it truly is; showing that Nigeria is not a nation of criminals as some will want you to believe.
“It may Interest you to know that one of the legislative priorities of the 9th Assembly of the House of Representatives, as articulated in the legislative agenda of the House, is in the area of human capital development and social investment; and one of the prioritized legislative actions, is to pursue reforms in our foreign policy to ensure the protection of Nigerians and Nigerian interests in the diaspora. Also, to harness the potential of the Nigerian community in the diaspora for development, particularly in the area of skills and technology transfer, investments and the promotion of the country’s national image abroad,” she said.
Akande-Sadipe also noted that an effective diaspora policy will provide a framework for the promotion of trade and foreign direct investment; create business opportunities, spur entrepreneurship, and the transfer of new technologies and skills.
The lawmaker said that Nigeria is the largest remittances-recipient country in sub-Saharan Africa, saying there is need for effective coordination and regulation of diaspora remittances to contribute positively to the social and economic development of the country.
“I would like to congratulate the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) under the able leadership of Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, for the tireless effort towards articulating a clear policy direction to effectively utilize, support and engage the diaspora for national development. In all we do, we must not forget our trafficked Nigerians in diaspora, who are living in inhumane circumstances in the diaspora.
The lawmaker also congratulated all State Diaspora Focal Point Officers for their achievements in the mandate of harnessing the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in diaspora for the overall socio-economic, cultural and political development of Nigeria.
She urged them not to relent and to seek more collaborative efforts from civil servants.
“I encourage you all to continue to work with NiDCOM and the various Committees that have been set up to ensure an effective and sustained diaspora engagement for national development.
“I would also like to use this opportunity to assure you of the total support of the House Committee on Diaspora and indeed the House of Representatives,” she said.