Nigerians in Diaspora in the Americas will converge in a virtual town hall meeting on Saturday 9 May 2020 with Chairman Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NIDCOM) Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa. Ahead of the meeting, here are my questions for the Honourable Chairman:
To what extent is NIDCOM legitimate, considering that more than a year after its establishment, its Board has not been constituted? What exactly is the problem?
How effective have you being Madam Chairman, as a lone Board member? Under what checks & balances do you operate NIDCOM without effending the provisions of its Establishment Act?
It’s alleged that some activities of those in Govt. including you, have derailed strategic approach to Diaspora engagement e.g. by overtly/covertly encouraging set up of new Diaspora organisations, thereby defeating Gov. Diaspora Policy. Pls explain.
Nigerian Diaspora is alleged not to be unified, in-fighting… What do you say to those who accuse you and your cohorts of engineering or supporting Diaspora disunity because it favours your agenda? Is a strong Diaspora a threat to you & colleagues?
Don’t you see any incompatibility, if not conflict of interest, in the two positions you occupy concurrently: Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Mr President on Diaspora and at the same time Chairman of NIDCOM?
Won’t it be more value-adding for Nigeria, transparent, Good Governance as President Mohammadu Buhari advocates, if the role of SSA Diaspora & Chair NIDCOM are independent from each other and occupied by two different persons, not just yourself?
Nearly 20yrs after @NigeriaGov under President Olusegun Obasanjo established NIDO to unify Diaspora input in national development, there are calls for reform of the org. Some clandestine reform efforts have failed. What reforms do you want to see?
I was delighted to have made a presentation at a Multi-sectoral Stakeholders Economic Investment Summit organised bySME Secretariat and hosted at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria on Monday 21 January 2019
I used the opportunity to review the Nigerian Economic Diplomacy Initiative (NEDI) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari. After a general refresher of what NEDI is all about, I dropped the following conclusions on this policy initiative:
NEDI is a strategically important policy tool with huge potentials to make a structural difference in economic regeneration of Nigeria with focus on non-oil sector
NEDI made a good start but has clearly not lived up to its biddings. It has failed rather woefully in showing evidence that it has made a convincing start in delivering on the important task of enhancing inter-agency collaborations
There is no visible effort on the part of NEDI to genuinely engage the Diaspora in a result-oriented way
Unless there is a change of course, NEDI is marked to fail!
I wrapped up with these sets of recommendations:
Foreign trade component should be introduced into the operations of all Ministries, Departments & Agencies (MDAs)
A NEDI Attaché should have a sitting in all major Missions of Nigeria worldwide where possible or the role unambiguously integrated into the duties of all diplomats charged with economic affairs
A formal working relationship should be initiated with Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) worldwide to enhance professional Diaspora mobilization
Clear targets should be set for inward investment flows as aconsequence of NEDI activities