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Reps to reintroduce diaspora voting bill

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The House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora has promised to reintroduce the Diaspora Voting Bill, to accommodate Nigerians living abroad.

Rep. Tolulope Shadipe, Chairman of the committee said this when the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, appeared before the committee.

Dabiri-Erewa was at the National Assembly to defend the commission’s 2023 budget and 2022 budget performance in Abuja on Thursday.

According to the chairman, we are going to reintroduce the diaspora voting bill which was rejected at the constitution amendment exercise.

Shadipe said the bill for the diaspora voting would pass this time because that was the direction the world is going, and Nigeria must not be left behind.

“We will be back with the bill; they are Nigerians, and they have the right to vote in Nigerian elections.

“The modalities and the issues raised the last time will be resolved and we will come back to it,” she said.

She said the committee was also looking at the issue of people of Nigerian descent who were currently not Nigerians but wanted to return home after the DNA tests proved that they had ties to Nigeria.

Recall that in March during the Constitution Amendment by the house of representatives, diaspora voting suffered defeat as the lawmakers rejected the bill.

Dabiri-Erewa, in her response, urged Nigerians to stop migrating to other countries if they did not have jobs there.

According to her, 80 per cent of prisoners in Dubai are Nigerians who went there without jobs and got into trouble.

She said there was need for a stronger multi-sector collaboration to stop the trend.

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Femi Ogunshola

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