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Senate committee hails NIgerians abroad as country’s best assets

 Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora and NGO’s  Sen. (Dr) Ibrahim Oloriegbe, on Thursday described the Nigerians in the Diaspora as the greatest assets of the country with their contributions to the nation’s development.
This was contained in a statement signed by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head, Media and Public Relations Unit NIDCOM, Abuja.
Oloriegbe, who led other committee members on inaugural oversight functions to the headquarters of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abuja said the Nigerians abroad are diverse in their respective contributions to country’s development.
The Senate Committee was received by Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO of NIDCOM and her Management team.
He said that the Nigerians in the Diaspora constitutes a significant proportion of the population, not in terms of number alone but in terms of their importance to the economy of the country.
The excited Sen. Oloriegbe said that despite the paucity of funds allocated to NIDCOM, the Commission has been able to annex the potentials of the Nigerians abroad and also lived to expectations.
He said the committee visit was basically to conduct oversight functions on the Commission as required by law and see further areas of interventions.
” I am happy that we are the first Committee to oversight the Commission after it came into existence last year.
“This Commission looks so small but the responsibility put on it is very big, not only big in terms of the volume but very critical and important both for the country in terms of security and touching the life of the individuals especially the citizens abroad.
He assured Hon. Dabiri-Erewa that the committee would do everything possible to make the job of the commission easy for them through necessary legal framework and required amendment to the NIDCOM Act.
Oloriegbe said such amendments would enable the country to tap more into the Diaspora resources for the overall benefits of the country.
Responding, the NIDCOM Chairman, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa thanked the Committee for being there for the Commission during its trying period, saying its top priority is working on the Database of Nigerians in the Diaspora. and encouraging diaspora investments.
She said that the National Diaspora Policy, which had been validated by all stakeholders and development partners, had been sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for presentation to the Federal Executive Council for approval as that will solve some of the challenges confronting the administration of Diaspora affairs in Nigeria.
She listed other activities of the commission in the last one year of its creation as holding National Diaspora Day, Nigerians Diaspora Investment Summit, the Badagry Door of Return and inauguration of the State Focal point officers.,
Others, according to her, include signing of MoU with some stakeholders, Investment summit with Nigerians in Saudi Arabia, evacuation of stranded Nigerians abroad, Diaspora Housing project with Federal Mortgage Bank and collaboration with some international organisations.
She also requested for the intervention of the committee in the areas of increased funding of the Commission, reduction of charges charged by IMTOs on remittances by the diasporans and support for the commission to have its own office accommodation.
Dabiri-Erewa also solicited for the support of the Senate Committee on legislation to make the travelling of Nigerians abroad seeking for jobs to be legalised in line with international labour laws, thus eradicating the human trafficking of Nigerians abroad, adding that illegal migration can be made legal with the right laws put in place and effective multi-agency collaboration .
In his remarks, Sen. Abba Morro, who was also on the entourage,commended Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa and her team for being dynamic despite paucity of funds, describing her as “ a comrade” , always determined to achieve results , against all odds.

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IOM launches open South America portal

International Organisation of Migration (

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open South America, available in SpanishEnglish and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.

The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.

The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.

READ  IIOM provides food, water to latest group of Rohingya rescued in East Aceh, Indonesia

Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.

“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.

“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

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29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.

About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.

Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.

He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.

Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.

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“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”

International Organisation of Migration (

Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.

“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.

Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.

The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.

READ  Returnees escalate Coronavirus cases in Nigerian state

 

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FG condemns killing of Nigerian footballer in UK

Kelvin

The Federal government has condemned the alleged killing of a Nigerian Footballer, Kelvin Igweani, by the UK police.

Recall that Igweani, a Nigerian Footballer, was shot dead by officers, who attended a call out to a house, where a child was found with serious injuries.

Reacting, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), in Abuja on Wednesday described the incident as very unfortunate,and sad.

Dabiri-Erewa condoled with the family of the deceased and the Nigerian communities in the UK while praying that God grants rest to the soul of the departed.

“We call on the UK government for a thorough and proper investigation to be carried out on the incident,” the statement added.

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