BY INNOCENT ODOH, Abuja
The Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) and a non-governmental organisation, Society for the Reconciliation of Distressed Nigerians in Diaspora (SORENID), have pledged to collaborate to help Nigerians in the Diaspora to trace their roots and also assist stranded Nigerians to return home and start life afresh.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday by Gabriel Odu, of the Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit of NIDCOM, stressing that the collaboration was predicated on the need for the Nigerians is Diaspora to give back to the society in one form or the other, which is of utmost importance and one of the mandates of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerian Diaspora.
For his part, MD/CEO of SORENID, Ambassador Uche Okafor, during a visit to the NIDCOM in Abuja, said that the NGO established almost six years ago, was set up to facilitate a reconnection process with homeland and as well as bridge the gap of Nigerians wanting to trace their roots, and for Nigerians, who for some reasons or the other, got stranded abroad and needed to come home to start life afresh.
He added that victims of gender-based violence in the Diaspora are also included in the rehabilitation, resettlement and reintegration scheme.
According to him, “A 20-room, 80 bed-space facility which originally was my Guest House, got converted to a shelter for the victims and engage them meaningfully in skills such as Beauty, Fashion, ICT, Agriculture and Production of household cleaning agents.”
Okafor stated further that the FCT Diaspora Focal Point Officer and NAPTIP had visited the shelter, prompting the need to liaise with other agencies related to Diaspora and migration, hence the imperative to visit NIDCOM.
Meanwhile, Engr. Sule Yakubu Bassi, Secretary to the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, representing Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, chairman/CEO, NIDCOM, appreciated the group’s effort of identifying with the Commission. However, he pointed out that their objective is better suited with NAPTIP, which is in charge of handling cases of trafficked victims, their rehabilitation and reintegration into Society.
Engr.Bassi encouraged other returnees to follow the path of Amb. Okafor in giving back to the country, as that is one of the three mandates of Nigerians in the Diaspora: to be good Ambassadors, to excel greatly in what they set out to do and to always remember home, wherever they are.
The NIDCOM Secretary assured the group that the Commission will render its assistance in whatever capacity towards the growth of the NGO.