In line with preparations ahead of the 17th National Diaspora Day (NDD) celebrations, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) at a press briefing in Abuja, announced that the NDD event this year, will wear a new look.
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa in her speech, stated that the Celebration, which holds July 25 annually, is the fifth in its series since the establishment of the Commission, adding that it will be a two-day ceremony, this year, unlike previous ones.
According to her, this was made to accommodate the Diaspora Merit Awards as well as presentations by Diaspora groups and associations
Dabiri-Erewa who stated that the Diaspora Merit Awards has been a long time coming, noted that many Nigerians in the Diaspora have positively contributed both to Nigeria and their host countries.
To her, this was done to recognise and celebrate them, as well as encourage them to continue to contribute to the country’s national development
In her statement, she maintained that: “We must accept that the Diaspora characterises a powerful force for change- not because of the financial remittances, but because they pose a lot more than the figures remitted.
They are the link to our past and present, and possibly our hope for a better future for Nigeria”, she said.
In addition, the Chairman, NiDCOM pointed out that several Nigerians in the Diaspora are flying the Nigerian flag high and making the country proud in all fields of endeavor
“Yes, there are few of us portraying the country poorly abroad, but we have many success stories coming from the Diaspora worth celebrating as well. So, there are more positive than negative narrations about Nigerians”, she said.
She further added that it was necessary to honour a select few to inspire them to continue to be good Ambassadors of the country wherever they go.
Dabiri-Erewa stated that going forward, canvassing for more Diasporas to be on the National Honours List will be a priority
The theme for this year is: “Consolidating Diaspora Engagement for National Development”, which focuses on galvanising the skills, network and experiences of the Diaspora as indispensable assets to bolster Nigeria’s growth.
Dabiri-Erewa said that the NDD ceremony will have various thematic panel discussions, celebrity interview segment with Dr Mohammed Pate ,presentations by the State Diaspora Focal Point Officers (SDFPOs), as well as, the second and third generation Nigerians in Diaspora, on the 25th , while the Diaspora Merit Awards will take place the next day
The Head of the Commission commended the Diaspora groups for their contribution towards development in Nigeria, while encouraging them to foster peaceful cooperation with sister Diaspora groups to achieve remarkable projects.
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa used the medium to appeal to the Nigerians in Diaspora to visit the diaspora portal which serves as a mechanism to ascertain the number of Nigerians in the Diaspora.
Speaking at the briefing, Mr. Omusa Baba Onyoma, the Vice Chairman, NIDOE, representing the Chairman, Mr. Bashir Obasekola, thanked the Chairman, NiDCOM for all her support through the years. He expressed his happiness at the novelty of the 2023 NDD ceremony.
He stated that his group will be on a week-long engagement as they propose courtesy visits to some agencies, medical outreaches and participate in the Diaspora day celebrations.
In the same vein, Mrs Susan Waya, the Chairperson, NIDO UK-South, lauded Hon. Dabiri-Erewa for her unwavering efforts for the Diaspora, through the Commission’s platforms for Diaspora engagement.
An equally excited Mrs Waya called on all Nigerians in the Diaspora to join hands to build our Nation.
The National Diaspora Day is an annual event to celebrate the success stories of Nigerians in the Diaspora.
This year’s event is a hybrid one with an expectation of thousands of participants, virtually and physically
Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit,