Abike Dabiri calls for Nigeria-India Joint Diaspora Commission

Rep Abike Dabiri-Erewa, (ACN-Lagos) has called for the establishment of a joint action committee on Diaspora between Nigeria and India to harness the potentials of the Diasporasin the two countries.
Dabiri-Erewa, who is the chairman House of Representatives committee on Diaspora Affairs, made the call during a lecture titled “Heritage and Diaspora’’ delivered at the 11th Indian Diaspora Convention (Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2013) at Kochi, India.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the Nigerian delegation quotes the legislator as saying “Nigeria and India are were two great nations with huge Diaspora potentials which require collaboration from the two countries in order to tap into”. “Nigeria and India Diaspora, need to chart a path of collaboration because we have many things in common.’’ “We cannot change the past but wecan determine the future, the choice we make now, will determine the future,’’ she said.
The lawmaker, who was honoured for being thefirst non ethnic Indian to speak at the Indian Diaspora Convention, said that the proposed committee would influence policy in the Africanand Indian sub-continent. She said since India has the largest Diaspora and remittance in the world just as Nigeria has the largest in Africa, the coming together of the two countries wouldbe of great benefits to all. “we must unite because there is a need for greater interaction and collaboration between us as we are linked by common heritage of being colonised by the British,’’ she said.
Dabiri-Erewa advised the home governments torecognise the Diasporas as their citizens and accord them all the rights and benefits enjoyedby home-based citizens and should not “treat them as outcasts”. She equally advised that young graduates and seasoned professionals should be offered employment in their fatherland. “Such A move would enrich their sense of belonging and pride as contributors to nation-building.” The law maker cited the example of India’s Bollywood and Nigeria-Nollywood, which were cintributing substantially to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of the countries.
She counselled that the promotion of tourism inthe homeland must exploit the opportunities offered by the citizens in Diasporas and should not only focus on attracting foreigners. “Our citizens in the Diaspora must be encouraged to come home to explore the beautiful and historical places in the land of their heritage. Dabiri-Erewa recommended the India Diaspora as a model, where wealth and population are huge resources which the homeland government should tap for nation-building. NAN reports that over 2,500 Non-Residents Indians (NRI) from over 50 countries as well as other delegates are attending the convention which was declared open by Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.