… Commends her for sponsoring Nigerian Diaspora (NIDCOM) Bill

… Advocates the Urgent Need for full Implementation of NIDOCOM Board

Delta born politician and administrator per excellence, Hon. (Dr.) Kenneth Gbandi yesterday at the Delta State capital, Asaba, hailed Hon. Joan Onyeamaechi for sponsoring the bill that supports his long term advocacy for Nigerians in diaspora to have a legal frame work for Diaspora homeland development efforts and to be allowed to exercise their constitutional rights as Nigerians, especially during electioneering. 

It was an epic home-coming for Hon. Gbandi, Nigerian’s longest serving diaspora leader, having served as the president of Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO), Germany from the year 2013 to 2016 and also served as the Continental Chairman & Board of Trustees, Nigerians in Diaspora Organization, Europe (NIDOE) from 2016 to 2020. He is currently the global adviser Nigerians in Diaspora Organization NIDOA.

Addressing the press in Asaba during the visit, Dr. Gbandi appreciated Hon. Onyeamaechi for being visionary, and for the historic feat she achieved as a first-timer at the National Assembly. Gbandi noted that his visit to the Hon. Commissioner is a Diaspora Pilgrimage, as he expounded that his consultation is on the strength of his being the Special Adviser to NIDOA, with Diaspora critical stakeholders in support of the federal government constituting NIDCOM Board according to NIDCOM law, domestication of NIDCOM and the advocacy for Diaspora Voting Rights which he has canvassed for nearly two decades.

According to Gbandi, the history of the Diaspora and Homeland Development efforts will not be complete without mention of Hon. Joan Onyeamaechi taking that historic First Reading on the floor of the Assembly in the year 2016. Hon. Gbandi appreciated her for the wonderful reception accorded to him and used the opportunity to thank Nigerian Diaspora leadership and other Nigerians at home and abroad who support and acknowledge the crucial role of the Nigerian Diaspora community in Nation building.

Appraising the place of Diasporas in the Nigerian state, Gbandi averred that with over 20 million Nigerians spinning huge human and financial resources in the Diaspora, it is simply commonsensical that such a constituency that technically oversubscribed the $300 Million Nigeria’s Diaspora Bond (Euro Bond) by 130% according to Debt Management Office should occupy some pivotal space in the country’s affairs.

He noted that several national and international organizations had reported that Nigerians in Diaspora remitted over $65.34 billion in just three years, covering from 2018 – 2020, an average of four percent [4%] of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to boost economic activities in the country, which is 11 times more than the Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), including [Paris Clubs] the economy received during the period under review (Punch, 23rd August 2021, World Bank Records and Femi Odere). He opined that such a constituency deserves the right to be involved in policy formulation for the country at the highest levels.

Hon. Joan Onyeamaechi, who is the current Commissioner for Technical Education in Delta State, then a first-timer at the National Assembly articulated the potentials of the Diaspora constituency in her legendary Nigerian Diaspora Bill when she took the First Reading on the floor of the National Assembly on January 20, 2016. Prior to her election to the National Assembly, Hon. Onyeamaechi was elected into the Delta State House of Assembly in 2007 to represent Aniocha South constituency and was reelected in 2011. In 2015 she was elected to the National Assembly as a PDP candidate to represents Aniocha-North, Aniocha-South, Oshimili-North and Oshimili South constituencies in Delta state.

Two years after that historic First Reading, precisely on December 16, 2018, the Nigerian Diaspora Professional Group (NIDO), the largest African Diaspora network organizations in the world, facilitated by the Federal Government of Nigeria representing the interests of over 20 million Nigerians in Diaspora, covering America, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Africa as continental organizations under the leadership of Hon Gbandi who made frantic lobby efforts with NIDOWW leadership that resulted in the final passage.

Hon. Gbandi from Delta State, the coordinating Chairman of Nigerian Global Professional Network NIDO Worldwide, during the period led the group to commend the Federal Government and the 8th National Assembly (NASS) under the leadership of Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki (then Senate President) and Honorable Dogara Yakubu (then Speaker of the House of Representatives) on the passage of the Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Bill, on March 30, 2017 following intense lobbying with Late Senator Rose Okoh of blessed memory, then Chair Senate committee on Diaspora Affairs and indomitable Hon. Rita Orji, Chair, Committee on Diaspora Affairs 8th NASS taking the leadership of NIDO Worldwide under their wings. 

The Worldwide leadership applauds the President of the Federal Republic with jubilation for making the invaluable decision and taking giant steps by restructuring the way and manner the Nigerian Diaspora participates in national affairs, by assenting to the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Bill meant to quickly harness the enormous but yet hugely untapped professional and entrepreneurial potentials of the Diaspora community.

Hon Gbandi concluded that Delta State is a huge blessing to the Diaspora community and Nigeria as a nation. He noted that Hon. Onyeamaechi who sponsored the Nigerian Diaspora (NIDCOM) Bill and Distinguished Senator Prince Ned Nwoko who is currently championing Diaspora Voting Right at the Senate are both from Delta State. He also acknowledged that one of the greatest Diaspora leaders, Hon. Collins Nweke is also from Delta State noting that Delta State and indeed Anioma has offered quality leadership to Nigerians in the Diaspora, and so a blessing, he concluded.



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