Senate has called for an independent budgetary provisions for Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NIDCOM, via separating its budget from the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora and Non Governmental Organisations, Senator Victor Umeh (LP Anambra Central) made the call on Monday in Abuja, while presenting budget defence report of the committee before Appropriation Committee.
Senator Umeh said the call became necessary following the importance of NiDCOM to activities of Nigerians in Diaspora.
“The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NiDCOM should have an independent budget from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since it is a commission established Act of the National Assembly.
“There are other agencies who do not do much as NiDCOM, but have independent budgetary provisions.”
He said Nigerians in Diaspora were contributing to the nation’s development maximally, adding that $24billion was remitted to Nigeria in 2022 by the diasporans.
He said despite the huge remittance the allocation to the commission has remained too paltry to take care of the needs of the commission in the discharge of its mandate.
Senator kUmeh said that Nigerians, who generate money from diaspora has various needs and challenges that requires NiDCOM attention and supervision, saying that the commission was not adequately funded to discharge the duties.
According to him, there is need to provide funds also to organise Diaspora Investment Summit in Canada, America, United Kingdom and other parts of the world to bring Nigerians together to partner federal and state governments for investments .
This, he said could also help drive the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.
“This one is critical, Diaspora Investment Summit, that one has economic value, you can not quantify the amount of money they remit to Nigeria, $24billion in 2022 alone.”
The lawmaker, said there was the urgent need to improve the budgetary provision of NiDCOM, given the enormous challenges faced by the commission.
Senator Umeh said there was no way NiDCOM could travel to nations to seek solutions to the challenges of Nigerians abroad with the little budgetary allocation.
He said the committee approved the insertion of five new line items amounting to N1billion from the proposed N2.5 billion for approval of the Appropriations Committee.
Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Ogun West) said NiDCOM actually required funding to function accordingly.
He said that the committee would pay attention to NiDCOM when reporting to Senate.
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