Happy 57th Independence celebration as we pray for peace, revival and progress based on justice in our Organization and in Nigeria
Dear Esteem members of NIDO Europe and NIDOWW, Happy 57th Independence celebration. NIDO Europe rejoice with Nigeria and Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora on this day. We are encouraged, and revitalized especially for successfully engaging in the creation of Nigerian Diaspora Commission which will now provide an institutional framework for the engagement of the Diaspora in national development. The federal, state and local governments can now create frameworks to actively engage the Diaspora knowledge and skills resource base.
As we celebrate yet another national day, Nigerians abroad are more than willing to support the development of their homeland and their respective local government areas given the right opportunity and right atmosphere. Nigerian Diaspora should and must be considered now symbolically as the 37th State of Nigeria just as the African Union considers the Diaspora as the sixth Region of the continent with the rights of representation.
NIDO Europe is also encouraged, and revitalized for the successfully working hand in hand with NASS, thanks to Chairman of the Committee on Diaspora Matters, Hon. Barr. Rita Orji, for taking NIDO under her wing, and for providing special facilitations which have resulted in the NASS and FGN re-recognizing NIDO as the umbrella organization of Nigerians overseas.
NIDO Leadership recognizes that without the full-blown and intensive Diaspora engagement, background briefing, preparation, and encouragement by Hon. Chairman Rita Orji, we will not have been as successful as this within her very short time in office. We join her as the Chairman of the Committee on Diaspora Matters in celebrating Nigeria at 57.
Just like the Nigerian state, over the years, successive NIDO Europe leaders have been plagued with series of crises and challenges that negatively impacted on the abilities of the organization from demonstrating this required leadership, and preventing the organization form achieving their goals in furtherance of the objectives behind the establishment of NIDO.
Since the inception of this Executive however, our immediate objective has been a holistic repositioning of NIDO Europe not only as a prime NIDO organization but also to present the organization and members as well-organised and dependable group and this has been with great success. We intend to continue with our reform to maximize our contributions to national development by promoting trade & investment opportunities in Nigeria and providing a professional resource pool from where national developmental interests in various spheres could be managed, in a transparent but secure, respectful manner for social, economic, academic, political, cultural and entertainment growth and other areas where our people seek to position themselves.
A brief achievement of the current executive and the Board of trustees include but not limited to:
- reaching out to all Chapters as well as all the stakeholders and bringing them back to the fold
- successful media summit to sell our new roadmap and intensify our lobby both in Europe and in Nigeria
- intensive lobby and interaction with Nigeria, especially with NASS, and working hard to do same the the Executive, the Judiciary and other Key Agencies
- development of a modern informative and interactive web presence
- a successful Leadership Summit
- lobby for the establishment of ICPC Diaspora Desk, Abuja
- constitution of an Advisory Board Member to tap into their years of experience
- support for charity via The Nigerian Fallen Heroes project in strategic partnership with TLC, Nigerian Legion and the Ministry of Defence in support for charity via The Nigerian Fallen Heroes project in strategic partnership with TLC, Nigerian Legion and the Ministry of Defence
- organization of a successful project summit which has enables us to look at NIDO Europe projects and executing for national developments
- initiating the Diaspora Housing Project in partnership with ICPC, the federal Housing Authority (FHA) and other stakeholders in real estate development industry
- initiating a Think Tank Groups and the independent sub advisory Groups on Youth Empowerment; Trade and in Investment; ICPC and anti-corruption; Diaspora Bond and Diaspora City
- NIDOE Active lobby and participation in the passage of Diaspora Commission Bill, through courtesy visits, consultations and lobby
- successful Italy peace process and eventual general Election
- AGIC-African Courier Migration Enlighten Project in a strategic collaboration with NIDO Europe (German Chapter) supported by the Office of Germany Foreign Ministry
- successful Hosting of Diaspora Day 2017, with NIDO Europe as coordinating Chapter.
NIDOE also supports the Diaspora enrolment program and we are currently playing a crucial facilitating role for quick Nigerian Immigration Intervention Team for over 200 stranded Nigerians in George with expired passport.
Our annual general meeting (AGM) and NIDOE Housing summit 2017 is planned to hold from the 9th to 11th November 2017 at Sana Metropolitan Hotel, Lisbon- Portugal. During the first two days, NIDOE and partners will be reviewing measures for consolidating ongoing strategic collaboration in Diaspora investment in housing and real estate, which is the main theme for this year´s AGM. An executive group of corporate leaders and state actors will give an overview of the state of Nigeria’s housing market, examine how to attract remittance and Foreign Direct Investment in housing and examine institutional intervention & policy framework as well as public private partnership for Diaspora Housing Investments. Also during the AGM, NIDOE will be reviewing measures for consolidating other ongoing strategic collaboration including the Diaspora Data registration, Diaspora Commission implementation, Federal Government Anti-corruption policies and other NIDOE strategic cooperating projects.
We have no illusion this will be a very difficult task. A system change is always fought with all available means; including false and evidently calculated defamatory, vituperations, pure nefarious harmful energy to distract and destabilize the organization and discredit the leadership. It bears mentioning, that some of the destabilizing moments that the organisation has faced in the past are externally inspired, while some were unfortunately internally generated. These energies are still at work. The fact that NIDO Europe is still standing toady, providing an umbrella to all Nigerians in over 21 European countries where it is present, with the other continental arms of NIDO in the Americas, Asia and Africa, which is by the way the largest assembly of Nigerians worldwide despite these the daunting challenges is an attestation of the great faith in the NIDO project and the resilient nature of the leadership over the years. We will not give up, neither are we going to be deterred or distracted.
NIDO Europe as an organization affirm its support to all positive government program within the rule of law and in strict adherence to due processes. This can only send out a message that the rule of law prevails in our country, which is very important for foreigners wishing to do business in Nigeria. Nigerians and friends should be able to rely on NASS for laws and oversight functions, our judicial system for the protection of their investment and to resolve disputes when it arises.
NIDO Europe as an organization will support the war on corruption. No Nigerian will be against fighting corruption except they’re direct beneficiaries. Corruption has really had a terrible impact on the country. However, the war should be fought transparently and in a non-discriminatory manner. There should not be sacred cows. Nobody should be spared because they come from an ethno-national group or belong to a political party. Corruption should however be fought tactically in such a way that bring confidence to people who have money not to be afraid to invest in Nigeria. This is very important. The shadow economy in Nigeria is very huge. That must always be at the back of the minds of our leaders.
Nigerian global Diaspora network has been a life-wire, facilitating economic and development lifeline to Nigeria. This is evident with the estimated $20.8 billion remittance in 2015 and $35 billion in 2016, the highest in Africa and the third largest in the world. Our contributions in terms of technical and knowledge transfer over the years is unquantifiable. We can no longer be overlooked anymore in the affairs of Nigeria. I am happy that we have today at the National Assembly, a leadership that have re-established faith not only in NIDO but also in the diaspora community. We must reorganize ourselves, set our priorities right and drive home key issues that are relevant to us; the diaspora commission implimentation, true Diaspora investment bond, diaspora voting right and Database. The 57th independence celebration must be a reminder of the many success stories, but also the failures in our country and in our organization and the need to learn from them, especially reasons that gave rise to such issues like the cray of marginalization, call for restructuring and so on.
As we celebrate Nigerian @ 57, I pray the good Lord will bring peace, revival and progress based on justice in our Organization and in our country. Happy Independence Day.
Hon. Kenneth Gbandi
Chairman Central Executive Council
Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe