By Bukola Hameed
The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has called on Nigerians in the Diaspora to consider investing in Nigeria’s healthcare, agriculture, real estate, and other sectors.
This appeal was made during a courtesy visit on Tuesday at the Commission headquarters, Abuja, by Labour Councillor Abigail Marshall Katung, who expressed her delight at being recognized by her home country.
During the visit, the Secretary to the Commission, Dr Yakubu Sule Bassi, who represented the NiDCOM Boss emphasized the importance of engaging the Nigerian diaspora in the country’s policies, projects, and overall development.
With over 17 million Nigerians residing abroad, the establishment of the Commission was a strategic move to harness the immense human capital and material resources available within the diaspora community for Nigeria’s socio-economic, cultural, and political advancement.
Bassi further highlighted that the Diaspora’s contribution to the nation is crucial, referring to the “Diaspora Phenomenon” as the new deal.
He outlined three areas through which Nigerians in the diaspora could make significant impact. These include: resources, talents, and skills.
Bassi also emphasized the need for Diasporans to uphold the 3-point Agenda for Nigerians living abroad. He said Diasporans are to be exemplary ambassadors wherever they are, excel in whatever they do, remain connected to their homeland, and give back to their communities.
Since its inception 4 years ago, the Commission has implemented various programmes to celebrate diasporans, such as the National Diaspora Day, Diaspora Investment Summit, the Badagry Door of Return, and most recently, the Global African Diaspora Symposium.
Little London and Woodhouse Ward Labour Councillor Abigail Marshall Katung, a Nigerian-born politician from Kaduna state, expressed her joy visiting Nigeria and her commitment to collaborating with NiDCOM.
She acknowledged the honor of being recognized by her home country, which she believes gives her an advantage over her colleagues in the UK.
Having left Nigeria over 20 years ago, Councillor Abigail shared her passion for education and her involvement in medical and educational recruitment, particularly in facilitating Nigerian students’ admission into UK institutions.
She highlighted her focus on empowering young women through a mentorship scheme, mentoring 12 individuals each year, with an emphasis on the girl child. She stressed that, “mentorship is about imparting skills and not solely about financial gains”.
Abigail Marshall Katung recently made history as the first African and Nigerian to be elected as a member of the Leeds City Council in the UK.
With an overwhelming majority of votes (1,749 votes), she emerged as the Councillor for the Little London and Woodhouse Ward, UK.
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