As Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will work hand in hand with the pro-people’s President to make NIDCOM a Diaspora Parliament with NIDO at the center to galvanize over 20 million Nigerians’ human and financial resources in Diaspora.
It’s only common sense that a constituency that technically oversubscribed $300 Million Nigeria’s Diaspora Bond by 130%, remitted over $65.34 billion in just three years [2018-2020]; $24.31bn in 2018, $23.81bn in 2019, and $17.21bn in 2020, an average of four percent [4%] of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to boost economic activities in the country certainly deserves the right to be involved in policy formulation of the country at the highest level, especially when the remittances in these three years were 11 times more than the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), including [Paris Clubs] (Punch, 23rd August 2021, World Bank Records & Femi Odere).
I will institutionalize the concept of Diaspora shadow ministers as a group of diaspora professionals & policymakers charged for shadowing Nigerian Ministers as a Diaspora advisory think-tank initiative to be sure that Ministers meet best international practices and follow their laydown policies and roadmap and, when necessary, call them out and offer alternatives. DSM will be a crucial Diaspora policy tool anchored within NIDO or a collaborative Diaspora strategic Assembly [DSA] comprising the leadership of the leading Diaspora professional and cultural organizations with NIDO as the coordinating organ.
The Nigerian diaspora population, which has been documented to have the highest percentage of professionals among the global Diaspora population, is sadly not given any place in the country’s foreign policy formulation or factored into the social culture and political equations other than being the cash cow of the nation via exorbitant consular services, high remittance charges, Diaspora bond, and Diaspora investment Fund, etc. and that is about to change with Senator Gbandi who will be the voice of the Diaspora, the Chief lobbyist for Nigerian-Diaspora interest, and who will bring to the table in Delta North and Nigeria the best global practice in legislative representation, including reforms and an international investment network.