Welcome Address by Hon. Kenneth Gbandi (Chairman, NIDO Europe) NIDOE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Hybrid NIDO Europe AGM 2020, Afrika Haus, Körnebachstr. 51-52 | D- 44143 Dortmund | Germany
H.E. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Fr. President & Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
H.E. Chief (Dr.) Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, Fr. President & Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Initiator, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation
H.E. Amb. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Germany
Ambassador Dr Diana Kenoly, United Nations Ambassador, Global Leadership Strategist and Executive Director at The JOHN MAXWELL TEAM
Ambassador Dr Ada JUNI Okika, Executive Director Center for SDG Global Education USA, The United Nations
H.E. Amb. Joseph Ayalogu (Fr. Permanent Rep. of Nigeria to the UN in Geneva
Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, Chairperson House Committee on Diaspora
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM)
Andrew S. Nevin, Ph.D., Partner & Chief Economist PwC Nigeria’s, our special keynote speaker
And all our Distinguished presenters and panellist
I also wish to specially acknowledge
Dr. RosaLyn Dressman, Chairman NIDOE-Germany
Distinguished NIDO Europe CEC members
Distinguished NIDO Europe Board of Trustees members
Distinguished NIDO Europe Chapter Chairs and Advisory Board members
Distinguished members of the international business community and friends of Nigeria
Distinguished NIDO Europe members and compatriots
On behalf of the Board of directors and the entire members of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE), I am humbled to officially welcome you to the Day 2 and the opening ceremony of NIDOE Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2020.
We are most grateful to God Almighty for the safe arrival of all delegates who are were able to make it to Dortmund, and thank God also for the safety of all members and compatriots joining us from the 5 continents of the world.
Every year, for the past 20 years, members of NIDOE gather for the statutory annual general meeting. This year´s AGM is an exceptional one. A hybrid of virtual participation and physical presence at the Event centre in Dortmund, Germany, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Organizing an AGM in a Global pandemic has been no doubt very challenging and I thank all members of this great organization, especially the organizing committee for an excellent job. Despite the Pandemic the interest and exactment is in no way diminished.
As a matter of fact, with the opportunity of winning former presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Distinguished House Chair on Diaspora matters of Nigerian National assembly and partners from UN, African Union and business partners and policymakers, the crisis of the pandemic is indeed a BLESSING to NIDO Europe and which further brings us closer in our goal search for homeland development.
According to the icons of NIDO Europe, they are all in agreements that “When the history of the current leadership of NIDO Europe is finally written, one of the items on the positive side of its ledger will be our success in rejigging Diaspora interest, not only in NIDO Europe´s Annual General Meetings but also the Global Diaspora leadership of NIDO Europe in addressing critical national issues in search of Homeland developments.
As most of us already know, this will be my last AGM as the Chairman of NIDO Europe: It has been a challenging but exciting 4 years in the service of NIDO, the Diaspora and my father’s land Nigeria. In the last 4 years NIDOE grew from about 13 chapters to over 22 active chapters, doubling chapters and membership in just 4 years. We initiated a Diaspora Housing Project that is currently on its final approval stage that will deliver a minimum of 650,000 affordable housing units in 10-years and Create over 300,000 additional jobs every year especially for Nigerian Youths among other social-economic benefits for Nigeria and the diaspora.
We initiated a Youth Capacity building program that will empower the youths to access 10 Million CBN AGSMEIS loan scheme, and we planned to sustain it with the Diaspora Educational raffle program. We opened the European Nigerian business and investment citizens space for bilateral and multilateral investment opportunities and established NIDOE Abuja office for business and investment facilitation. We expanded our cooperation with ICPC for safe investment for the Diaspora and out partners and also established Diaspora desk at Nigerian Immigration to support Diaspora consular issues for Nigerians in Diaspora and our business partners.
We are currently partnering with BIOSEC, NIMC accredited vendor for Diaspora registration into the National database. In collaboration with Sub Sahara open University, we have initiated Youth Business training and we are also collaborating with them to confronts the Covid-19 with NIDSAFE Covid-19 initiative, among others.
The tasks before us in this AGM is to further evaluate a structured effective and efficient diaspora involvement and participation in the growth and development of Nigeria both at State and Federal level. The conference will continue to look objectively at the development challenges in Nigeria, especially the youths unemployment situation in Nigeria and seek the needed Diaspora intervention in areas of viable partnerships, knowledge and experience, training and transfer of skills, finance and mentorship within the pool of diaspora professional resources globally.
The conference must give their full support for the constitution of Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) in accordance with NIDICOM Act, strong advocacy for the realisation of Diaspora Voting Rights by 2023 and good governance in Nigeria. The Conference must look critically at the ENDSARS movements and its implications for Homeland development and stand shoulder to shoulder with the Nigerian Youth.
Finally, I am extremely grateful to my family that provided me with the family love and support these 4 years enabling, me to offer my humble services to the Diaspora and Nigeria. I thank all my friends and loved ones and the entire NIDOE members for the privilege to serve. I wish all of us a great celebration.
Long Live NIDO Europe
Long Live the Diaspora
Long Live the Federal Republic of NIGERIA