NIDOE INFO PRESS EDITION
HIGHLIUGHTS OF THE MEETING BETWEEN THE PERMANENT SECRETARY, OFFICIALS OF THE NIGERIA NATIONAL VOLUNTEER SERVICE AND THE NIGERIANS IN DIASPORA ORGANISATION (NIDO) HELD IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, OFFICE OF THE PERMANENT SECRETARY, POLITICAL AFFAIRS, OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION ON THURSDAY, 25TH FEBRUARY, 2016
The meeting was chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Political Affairs Office (PAO) and started at 4:20pm with self introduction of members present.
In his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary welcomed members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) and stated that their visit could not have been at a better time considering that preparations for the 2016 Diaspora Day/Conference was about to start. He pointed out that there were some reservations on the way and manner the Conference was organized in the past. He stated that the Diaspora represented a huge resource for Nigeria which should be mobilised to promote the socio-economic development of the country.
He further stated that the focus of the Office was to use the Conference to mobilise the Diaspora to make concrete contributions to addressing the challenges militating against the development of the country. He observed that having the Conference in Nigeria would provide a platform to mobilize the Diaspora as this would ensure a wider outreach. He then urged the NIDO officials to take note of the new approach to the theme of this year’s Diaspora Conference.
In order to have a result oriented Diaspora Day/Conference, the Permanent Secretary urged NIDO to generate reliable and verifiable data on Nigerian professionals in the diaspora.
In his contribution, the Director (NNVS) drew the attention of the members of NIDO to the fact that the development of the Diaspora Data Base was the core mandate that was given to NIDO at its formation. He called on the NIDO officials to give due attention to this by facilitating the registration of Nigerian professionals in their respective areas.
In his response, Dr. George Manuwuike, Chairman, Board of Trustees, NIDO-E pointed out that a global data base was launched in London in 2006 and that the process was not concluded due to the initial challenges encountered.
The meeting resolved that since the process of data generation is a continuous one, the data base should be updated regularly to accommodate young professional graduates who may be desirous of contributing to National development.
On this note, the Permanent Secretary pointed out that Government is not interested in the politics of Diaspora organisations. He observed that the proliferation of NIDO across the various continents of the world makes the process of nominating Diasporans to serve on the Local Organising Committee very cumbersome. He then urged them to reach out to their members to ensure effective collaboration throughout the planning and implementation stages of the event. He further advised for a change of mind set of members who look up to government for solutions to every problem.
Having recognised the several branches of NIDO which cuts across the globe, the meeting resolved to nominate members on the Local Organising Committee as follows
NIDO Europe – 1
NIDO America – 1
NIDO Africa – 1
NIDO Asia – 1
It was also resolved that Dr. Camillus Konkwo, DDIC and Mrs. Henrietta Abraham were to be nominated in their personal capacities to serve on the LOC. In the course of the meeting, Dr. George Manuwuike observed that previous contributions by the Diasporans that was intended to promote development in the country went unnoticed. This included the setting up of industries by notable Diasporans which created jobs and income to young Nigerians. He stated that arrangements have reached an advanced stage to bring foreign investors into the country in the field of potable water supply through the use of solar technology.
On this note, the Chairman of the meeting (The Permanent Secretary) pointed out that Government was not unmindful of Diaspora contributions. He pointed out that resources would be committed towards producing a magazine that would highlight the various contributions of Diaspora with a view to documenting their activities for posterity. Similarly, the Director, NNVS advised the NIDO officials to always keep the office abreast of their activities like Annual General Meetings and other programmes.
Barrister Christopher Anwah pointed out that the Diaspora Conferences have been coming up with useful recommendations and that the problem was with implementation. In his response, the Permanent Secretary stated that the recommendations were not easy to implement as in most cases they were of a general nature. He re-iterated that the focus of the Conference should be to mobilize the Diaspora to carry out specific activities or projects for the development of the country.
The meeting ended at 5:30pm. In attendance were:
- O. A. Bamgbose, – PS (PAO)
- Tor Tsavsar, Esq., – D (NNVS)
- Ismaila Abubakar, – DD (NNVS)
- Dr. George Manuwike, – Chairman B.O.T. NIDO-E
- Abdullahi Dauda, – NIDO-A
- Dr. Camillus Konkwo, – D (SW & Event Planning) NIDO-E
- Christopher Anwah, Esq., – NIDO-A
- Obiora Odumah, – NIDO – Africa