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Attacks on Nigerians: FG to unveil new diaspora policy in 3 weeks – Foreign Affairs Ministry

*As Reps move to raise NIDCOM budget

Access Bank

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Tuesday promised that a new Diaspora Policy for the countrywill ready in three weeks.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, represented by his Minister of State, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, made the disclosure before the Diaspora Committee of the House of Representatives.

He said “I want to assure you that in three weeks’ time, the Federal government will come out with a Diaspora Policy.”

The Minister who made the disclosure at a Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, 2020/2021 budget defence session, with the Chairman of NIDCOM, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, also decried the poor allocation for the commission.

For the 2020 budget, the commission was allocated a personnel cost of N247million, with about N206,640 released as at October, while a balance of N41,328, 948, 50 was still left.

For overhead component of the budget, the Minister told the Committee, that only N27,076, 094million was released, with only N22.5m accessed and utilized.

While, N100m budgeted for capital, only N53 million was released, with only N52m utilized, leaving a balance, N623,000 for Sept, October, November, December.

For 2021, the Ministry complained that only N143.795million was allocated to them as personnel cost, instead of the N247million they submitted to the budget office in the presidency.

“We made a proposal of over N247m, but from the observation, it will appear there was a mistake somewhere down the line. we are not aware of any retrenchment at Nidcom. We can’t seem to explain how this figure came about,” the Minister told the Committee.

The Minister also regretted that a there is “zero allocated for travels for NIDCOM. International travels & local travels also received zero allocation.”

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in her comments at the session, lamented that “there is no provision for office, in the budget; even with the initial budget(of 2020), there was none.”

However, Chairman of the Diaspora Committee, Rep. Tolu Akande-Sadipe, on behalf of the committee, promised NIDCOM, that the lawmakers will make sure the budget of the commission is increased even above their proposal of N247million for personnel, so that the agency can employ more staff and be more efficient.

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