The absence of a policy framework on Diaspora sets Nigeria’s economy backward, the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said in Abuja on Thursday while speaking to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Pius Anyim.
Ms. Dabiri-Erewa described the situation as an embarrassment on the world stage.
“Nigeria remains one of the few countries without a Diaspora Policy and this has not helped our economy,” she said.
She called for the consistent observance of the annual celebration of Diaspora day in Nigeria.
“That programme must be strengthened, it must be encouraged and it must not be killed,’’ she said.
Ms. Dabiri-Erewa stressed the need to have a viable policy on Diaspora, geared towards handling matters relating to the well-being of Nigerians living outside the shores of the country. According to her, if the migration policy is duly implemented it will go a long way in resolving issues of migration from the country.
“If we can get it out of the shelf, we will go a long way in solving issues of migration as it affects our nation”.
She noted that most Nigerians abroad have problems with the government not paying much attention to their problems
“As a government, we must be responsive to the problems of our people,” she said.
In his response, the SGF said that the issue of Diaspora day should not be left in the hands of government alone. Mr. Anyim assured the committee that he would take up the issue with President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said that the president is about to appoint a new Special Adviser on Diaspora to underscore his desire to work with Nigerians abroad.
The SGF talked about the need for a harmonious working relationship between the committee and the present government.