Nigeria has commenced the process of joining the league of countries with national diaspora policies, following the setting up of a technical team saddled with the task of coming up with final draft of the policy in January 2017.
This was the resolution of stakeholders after a seven–hour validation seminar in Abuja on the 68-page draft policy jointly organised by the ministry of Foreign Affairs and office of the special assistant to the president on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora.
Declaring the seminar open, the minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama said there was need to promote the capacity of Nigerians abroad, so as to benefit from the “immense potential of the diaspora.’’
Onyeama, who was represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry, Amb. Sola Enikanolaiye, said, the federal government would support all efforts to ensure the inclusion of Nigerians abroad in future elections
He added that enhanced inclusion of Nigerians abroad in the voting process would support their contributions to national development; hence, such policy that would see to their empowerment should be hastened up.
“Many of them (Diaspora) are deeply concerned about the situation in the country and have critical skills and potential that could be harnessed to solving Nigeria’s socio-economic challenges.”
“The ministry, therefore, is sharpening its in-house resources to effectively harness the potential of Nigerians wherever they are based’’, Onyeama said.