Reps assures NIDCOM on Diaspora voting

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As the clamour for Diaspora voting intensifies, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Shadipe, Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs has assured Nigerians living abroad that the committee was working on the issue.

Akande-Shadipe,gave the assurance when she led her committee on oversight function to Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) in Abuja on Friday.

She said the House was strategizing on strengthening existing laws, through legislative reforms, to guarantee voting rights for Nigerians in the Diaspora during general elections in the country.

According to Chairperson, the Diaspora voting bill is a sensitive matter which requires a constitutional amendment, the passage of which should not be rushed.

The lawmaker said that the nation should respect the impact and huge contributions the Diasporans were making to the country’s national development, hence the need for them to participate in the homeland electoral process.

While commending the Abike Dabiri-Erewa-led NIDCOM for its dynamism, despite the challenges the Commission is facing, she assured that the priority of the committee was to assist NIDCOM to achieve its mandate.

Receiving the committee members the NIDCOM boss, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, thanked them for coming and solicited for their support in helping the Commission to grow.

She listed future plans of the Commission to include making the Commission a revenue generating agency, finalise a diaspora policy for the nation and cultural exchange programmes for Nigerian children abroad.

The NIDCOM boss, however, said that due to Covid-19 global pandemic lockdown, remittances to Nigeria from the Diaspora would be greatly affected as global economy had nosedived.

She said that the pandemic had also affected the annual Diaspora Day slated for July 25, but promised that the event would still hold but through a virtual device where all the stakeholders would hook on.

Dabiri-Erewa appealed to the Committee to help NIDCOM grow through legislative interventions and enhanced budget to be able to fulfill its mandate and set out objectives.

Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Head, Media and Public Relations Unit NIDCOM, who issued a statement concerning the meeting, noted that the event was the first oversight function carried out by the Committee since inception of the Commission, due to its lack of office accommodation.

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