The need for an accurate,comprehensive and efficient database for Nigerians in Diaspora have, once again been emphasised. This would give verve and accentuate national planning and development through the aggregation of diaspora resources.
The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, stated this at a meeting with a delegation from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Abuja. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa believed that Diaspora Mapping will help identify the demographic population of Nigerians across the world which have been based on estimation to about 17million.
NiDCOM Chairman affirmed her commitment to working assiduously with the IOM for a successful database of Nigerians in diaspora.
She further commended the IOM for their support for the production of the Draft National Diaspora Policy.
Leader of the delegation, Mr. Frantz Celestin, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, stated that Diaspora Data Mapping is crucial to a nation’s development, adding that this has prompted the setting up of the project, “Connecting Diaspora for Development” (CD4D-2), a wholly Diaspora focused programme which is supported by the Dutch Government of the Netherlands.
Mr. Frantz stressed that the primary focus of the project was to promote the dynamic role of the diaspora in the public and private sectors in Nigeria.
Asides Nigeria, countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq, are the countries of interest for the project. Mr. Frantz also informed that the project will look into impacting knowledge and skill setting in the areas of Agriculture, Healthcare and ICT. On the issue of Healthcare, he said the IOM will be closely working on matters related to Mental Health and Tuberculosis (TB).
The meeting also discussed the issue of the Diaspora Trust Fund stressing that it takes time, trust and machinery, citing the case of India and Ethiopia, though the projects failed but it will be an experience for Nigeria to leverage on and plan for a thorough and effective strategy.