By Maureen Okon
The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs , Amb. Zubairu Dada, says Diaspora Database was a critical element for mobilising and integrating Nigerians abroad for national development.
The minister said this at the inauguration of the Data Mapping Portal for Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) in Abuja on Tuesday.
He explained that the database was for the active pursuance of the mandate of the commission as enshrined in the 2017 NiDCOM establishment act.
“Also, it will provide for the engagement of Nigerians abroad in the policies , projects and programmes of Nigerian governments at all levels.
“And for their participation in the development of Nigeria, for the purpose of utilising the human capital and material resources of diasporas towards the overall socio-economic, cultural and political development of Nigeria and for related matters.
“In line with the intent, purpose and vision for the establishment of NiDCOM, it’s a privilege to commission the Diaspora Database Portal for the benefit and use of our Nigerians in the Diaspora,‘’ he said.
Speaking earlier, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chief Executive Officer of NiDCOM, said that the significance of the inauguration was not only to create awareness of the portal, but to develop a collaborative agenda.
According to her, the collaborative agenda is for the development of a credible database of the Nigerians in Diaspora.
“From inception, we have taken on this momentous task of mapping out the Nigerians in Diaspora around the world. We understand for us to effectively execute the mandate of the commission, to provide for engagement of the Nigerians Diaspora in the policies projects and programmes of the government at all levels; a reliable and scalable database is required.
“The goal is to build a realistic profile of the approximately 17 million Nigerians who are in the Diaspora, to identify them and engage with them effectively.
“In our first year, the commission commenced the establishment of Data Mapping sites which serve as the premier capturing platform for raw data in over 10 countries in 2020.
“This year, we included an additional 10 countries which will solidify our data capturing capability in over 20 countries by the end of 2021,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that, Nigerians in the Diaspora can access and register via the website: www.nidcom.gov.ng/registry.
Others who spoke at the ceremony are, Mr Franz Celestin, the Chief of Mission for the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Eleni Zerzelidou, International Aid/Cooperation Officer Migration, Drugs & Organised Crime, EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS.
They said that the portal would help Nigerian government to understand the social strength of Nigerians in Diaspora.
They urged all Nigerians in Diaspora to register as this would make a huge impact, while admonishing the government to protect all information of the portal. (NAN)