Nigeria Takes Decisive Step Towards Adopting National Diaspora Policy

Abuja – On 2 July, the Nigeria National Volunteer Service (NNVS) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) met in Abuja to validate the draft National Diaspora Policy.

The meeting drew attendance from ministries, government agencies and departments, civil society, diaspora-related organizations, as well as members of the Nigerian diaspora and the European Union. In addition to the validation of the draft, the meeting raised awareness about the policy in order to expedite its adoption by the Federal Executive Council.

The policy aims to effectively utilize, support and engage the diaspora for national development, and it signals the Government of Nigeria’s recognition of the diaspora’s potential. It follows related initiatives such as the creation of the NNVS in 2003, which facilitates diaspora engagement for national development, and the creation of the House Committee on Diaspora Affairs Office and the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora.

Every year, Nigeria celebrates Diaspora Day on 25 July. According to IOM’s Migration Data Portal, a total of 1.3 million Nigerians live outside their country of origin. “Diaspora engagement is a process that requires a sustained effort, especially to support diaspora investment, entrepreneurship endeavors, social remittances and knowledge transfers,” said Maria Quintero, IOM Nigeria Officer in Charge. “We are honored to support the Government in building partnership and trust with its diaspora, as well as facilitate policies and actions aimed at mobilizing Nigerian in the diaspora for national development.”

The policy consists of four chapters outlining its objectives and strategies, the framework for implementation and the set of tools for its monitoring and evaluation. It is expected to be reviewed every five years.

“We will work together with all relevant stakeholders to ensure the effective implementation of the policy’s action plan,” said Abike Dabiri-Erewawho, Executive Chairwoman of the Nigerian in the Diaspora Commission.

The meeting is part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Nigeria funded by the EU.

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo, IOM Nigeria, at jgalindo@iom.int or +234 906 273 9168.