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FG To Launch Information Portal For Nigerians At Home And Abroad - Minister

The Federal Government will soon launch an Information Portal to keep Nigerians at home and in the diaspora abreast of government’s
programmes and policies and also get their feedback.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed,
disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday when he received the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diapora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, on a courtesy visit to
his office.
“I think what is lacking today is that most of our people in the Diaspora base their views and opinions, their actions and reactions about what is happening at home
largely on second hand, third hand or fourth hand information and this is why this particular portal is
very important.
''In particular, it will be provide our brothers and sisters in the
diaspora with first hand information on what is happening at home. We
will also ensure that this portal will enable us to get a feedback
from them on what they are doing,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed also announced that town hall meetings would be
organised for Nigerians in the diaspora, especially in cities within large Nigerian communities, as part
of efforts to engage them on the efforts the government is making to
develop the country.
He said there were also plans to launch the Change Begins With Me
Campaign in some major cities across the world, with a view to
reinforcing the faith and belief of the diaspora Nigerians in the Nigeria Project and also to carry them along
in the rescue mission to revamp the economy and ensure the return of
moral values that will re-position the country on the path to greatness.
The Minister lauded the contributions of Nigerians resident abroad to the development of their host countries, saying they remain Nigeria’s
ambassadors, whose views are not tainted by sectional, ethnic or
religious prejudices.
He said in times of recession as currently being witnessed in Nigeria, the contribution of the diaspora community is capable of reflating the
economy, particularly if the funds they remit come through the official sources.
“Unfortunately for us in Nigeria, even though a lot of money comes from the diaspora, it does not come through official sources. I think that the Central Bank is also doing
everything possible to ensure that the inflow from the diaspora comes
through official sources,'' the Minister said.
In her remarks, Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa sought the partnership of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture
in building a formidable structure that will engage Nigerians in the
diaspora.
While stressing the need for an accurate database of Nigerians in the
diaspora, she said a diaspora policy would soon be put in place to define and facilitate the engagement with
Nigerians residing abroad and harness the intellects of Nigerians in various fields in the diaspora to contribute positively to nation-
building.
“We are coming up with a programme called PRIDE - The Presidential Initiative for Diaspora Excellence.
We will bring it down to various fields; we are working on medicine
and agriculture. So we are getting Nigerians in the diaspora in those
fields that are going to come together and make sure they contribute positively to the progress and development of Nigeria,” the Senior Special Assistant to the
President said.
Mrs. Dabiri-Erewa expressed the confidence that with about $21
billion remitted to the country annually, Nigerians in the diaspora are capable of pulling the country out of recession if they are
adequate informed and engaged by the government, while also disclosing the plan to float a Diaspora Bond.
Segun Adeyemi
SA to Hon Minister of Information and Culture
Abuja
Oct. 25th 2016

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