NIDCOM Board: Reps urge President Tinubu to respect constitution

Elizabeth AtimeMarch 1, 20243 min

The challenges faced by Nigerians in the diaspora that necessitated the establishment of NIDCOM  remain unresolved and have worsened.

The House of Representatives on Thursday tasked President Bola Tinubu to give effect to the provisions of Section 2 (1) of the NIDCOM Establishment Act, 2017 by constituting the Board of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM).

The House also asked the President to inaugurate the Board after their confirmation and charge it to immediately address the numerous challenges facing Nigerians in the Diaspora.

These resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion titled, “Call to Constitute Board of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM)” sponsored by Rep. Tochukwu Chinedu Okere (LP, Imo) at Thursday plenary.

In his debate,  Rep. Okereke noted that Section 2(1) of the Nigerians in Diaspora Establishment Act, 2017 states that there shall be a Governing Board for the Commission, which will be responsible for its general administration.

He also said the genuine intent of President Muhammadu Buhari in signing the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission Act, 2017, was in response to complaints from Nigerians suffering in their host countries, resulting in a huge embarrassment to the image of Nigeria and its rating before the community of nations.

The House further noted that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission provides for the engagement of Nigerians in the Diaspora in the policies, projects, and participation in the development of Nigeria and the purpose of utilizing human capital and material resources of Nigerians in the Diaspora towards the overall socio-economic, cultural, and political development of Nigeria.

“The House said it was aware that Nigeria has a huge, well-educated, and hardworking diaspora population across all the continents of the world and constitutes a significant percentage of active economic capital for our national growth and development.

The House said it was also aware that a recent World Bank report states that Nigeria is the highest remittance-recipient country in Sub-Saharan Africa, approximated at about $20 billion in official remittances by the end of 2023, which is about 38% of remittances flowing to the regions. It said at the close of 2023, the exchange rate of N885.88 was about N17.71 Trillion.”

He further explained that the challenges faced by Nigerians in the diaspora that necessitated the establishment of the Commission remain unresolved and have worsened.

The House attributed this to the fact that the Board of the Commission has yet to be constituted by the President since its establishment seven years ago.

“The House was also concerned that Nigerians in the diaspora have contributed significantly to the country’s economic growth, development, and social stability, and their welfare be given special attention by the government and its organs.

“It worried that if the Board is not constituted immediately, the capacity of NIDCOM to address the challenges of Nigerians in the diaspora will worsen and that would present Nigeria from a negative perspective as a country that does not care for the welfare of its citizens, thus undermining the establishment of the Commission.”

The motion was unanimously adopted as the House mandated its Committee on Diaspora to ensure compliance.

Elizabeth Atime

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