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Nigeria plans information website for Diaspora community

Nigeria plans information website for Diaspora community
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The Federal Government says it will soon launch an Information Web Portal to keep Nigerians in the diaspora abreast of government programmes.

The proposed website hoped targetting diaspora community and Nigerian at home as well will provide updates on policies and also get their feedback.

Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, disclosed this in Abuja recently when he received, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diapora, on a courtesy visit to his office.

While also disclosing the plan to float a Diaspora Bond, Dabiri-Erewa expressed confidence that with about $21 billion remitted to the country annually, Nigerians in the diaspora are capable of pulling the country out of recession if they are adequately informed and engaged by the government. 

The Minister says that “most of our people in the diaspora base their views and opinions, their actions and reactions about what is happening at home largely on second hand, third hand or fourth hand information and this is why this particular portal is very important.”

He says that the new portal “will provide our brothers and sisters in the diaspora with first hand information on what is happening at home. We will also ensure that this portal will enable us to get a feedback from them on what they are doing.”

lai-mohammed
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, with Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diapora, during a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.

The Minister also revealed that town hall meetings would be organised for Nigerians in the diaspora, especially in cities with large Nigerian communities, as part of efforts to engage them on the efforts the government is making to develop the country.

Speaking on the ‘Change Begins With Me’ Campaign, he said there were also plans to launch it in some major cities across the world, with a view to reinforcing the faith and belief of the diaspora Nigerians in the Nigeria Project and also to carry them along in the rescue mission to revamp the economy and ensure the return of moral values that will re-position the country on the path to greatness.

He commended the contributions of Nigerians resident abroad to the development of their host countries, saying they remain Nigeria’s ambassadors, whose views are not tainted by sectional, ethnic or religious prejudices.

According to him, in times of recession as currently being witnessed in Nigeria, the contribution of the diaspora community is capable of reflating the economy, particularly if the funds they remit come through the official sources.

“Unfortunately for us in Nigeria, even though a lot of money comes from the diaspora, it does not come through official sources. I think that the Central Bank is also doing everything possible to ensure that the inflow from the diaspora comes through official sources,” the Minister says.

on her part, Dabiri-Erewa sought the partnership of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in building a formidable structure that will engage Nigerians in the diaspora.

While stressing the need for an accurate database of Nigerians in the diaspora, she said a diaspora policy would soon be put in place to define and facilitate the engagement with Nigerians residing abroad and harness the intellects of Nigerians in various fields in the diaspora to contribute positively to nation-building.

“We are coming up with a programme called PRIDE – The Presidential Initiative for Diaspora Excellence. We will bring it down to various fields; we are working on medicine and agriculture.

“So we are getting Nigerians in the diaspora in those fields that are going to come together and make sure they contribute positively to the progress and development of Nigeria,” the Senior Special Assistant to the President says.

While also disclosing the plan to float a Diaspora Bond, Dabiri-Erewa expressed confidence that with about $21 billion remitted to the country annually, Nigerians in the diaspora are capable of pulling the country out of recession if they are adequately informed and engaged by the government.

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Donatus Anichukwueze Technology Writer at Technology Times Media e-mail: donatus.anichukwueze@technologytimes.ng

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