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Monday, 3 April 2017

Govt Will Protect Nigerians Abroad, Says Dabiri-Erewa

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President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has said the government will protect the interest of Nigerians living abroad.

She said a bill proposing the creation of a commission in charge of diaspora matters is underway, adding that it will bring relief to Nigerians across the globe.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa, who was the speaker at the Island Club lecture with the topic: “Nigerians in Diaspora: Strengths and Challenges in the Pursuit of National Development, said the commission would have other countries as members.

She urged the citizens to support the government’s efforts in stabilising the economy, noting that awareness will be created on the dangers Nigerians are likely to face when they travel

out of the country through unorthodox method.

Dabiri-Erewa said the 15 million Nigerians scattered all over the world contributed to the economy, adding that about 35 billion dollars came into the country from citizens in the diaspora last year.

She said: “Nigerians in the diaspora are doing quite well. Some of them have broken records in their chosen careers. Some of them are now willing to come back home to invest and make contribution to the growth of the country.

“We should all strive to rewrite the wrong notion by foreign countries about us. We should be brand ambassadors of Nigeria. It is wrong for these foreign countries to believe that nothing good can emanate from Africa.

“In changing the wrong impression held about Nigeria, the government alone cannot do it. We have to work together. The country needs a commission that will handle all challenges posed by bureaucratic bottleneck.

“ Nigerians are likely going to face long jail terms when they travel through unapproved means to some countries that are not very friendly. They risk being killed in the voyages to other lands.”

The former lawmaker said the government was willing to assist Nigerians living overseas who want to relocate to their roots. She noted that those who have psychological challenges would be properly guided.

“It is not only Nigerians who had lived abroad that should be made to undergo psychological test or treatment. I think those who are at home and refuse to talk in the face of some grave dangers in the society equally need to be treated.

“This is not the time to stay aloof, this is the time to support the government in proferring solutions to the problems facing the country. We must all rise up to get the country working.”

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