Connect with us


NiDCOM celebrates Diaspora excellence with awards



Nigerian Community in South Africa congratulates Dabiri

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) celebrated Nigerians in the Diaspora for their contributions to the socio-economic growth of the country.

The Chairman of NiDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa said the commission was celebrating Diaspora excellence at the National Diaspora Day (NDD) 2023 and Diaspora Merit Award held in Abuja on Wednesday night.

The Day, which was marked on Tuesday and Wednesday, had as its theme “Consolidating Diaspora Engagement for National Development”.

“This week we are celebrating diaspora excellence. The diaspora that was celebrated is about what they are doing back home; it is not enough that you have excelled over there, what are you doing back home?

“So you can see that all of them are contributing one way or the other to the development of the growth of your country. Why do you give awards because it would encourage you to work harder and contribute more and we are so proud.”

Dabiri-Erewa said the process of selection was tough as there were some criteria.

The chairman also hoped the awards would encourage other Nigerians in the Diaspora to do more for their country.

“People were asked to nominate and we had a team of people who screened all the nominations and came up with a final list.

“I believe that subsequently, the categories may have to increase but this is just the beginning it was thorough, it was online for six months and went through screening and today we came up with a final list.”

More so, she said the Diaspora would be encouraged to invest in philanthropy, capacity building, science, education, and agriculture, among other sectors of investments.

She also said she would encourage the Federal Government to consider the citizens living in the Diaspora for national honours.

“For those that have even been able to get this award, we are going to appeal (to the government) and say that when you do the national, let us have a Diaspora category for these Nigerians that are doing great things abroad and also back home.

“You heard the President himself tell us yesterday that it is going to be a very Diaspora-friendly administration and they will do a lot to encourage Diaspora investment.”

Furthermore, Dabiri-Erewa said NiDCOM encouraged ministries, departments, and agencies to have a Diaspora desk to facilitate the ease of doing business.

She also called on the Diaspora groups to have a united front and work together for the growth and progress of Nigeria.

“I am pleading to all of you, particularly the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation groups, let us be united and stop all these divisions and work as one unified body because I do not have the energy to settle quarrels.

“I have the energy to do positive things for our country.”

The chairman also reiterated the federal government’s commitment to strengthen engagements with the Diaspora through NiDCOM and also encouraged those in the Diaspora to be good ambassadors to Nigeria.

Recipients of the awards were in different categories from education, finances and economics, politics, information and communication technology, leadership development, medicine/ healthcare, automobile, philanthropy, and sports.

Recipients included Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO); and Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President, of the African Development Bank.

More recipients were Prof. Augustine Esogbue, a professor at H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, also known as Georgia Tech.

Others are Prof. Geoffrey Okogbaa, Prof. Mohammed Farouk, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, Prof. Rotimi Jaiyesimi, Dr Jonathan Obgaje, Dr Oluyinka Olutoye, Prof. Manny Aniebonam, Olawuyi Folarin Alao, Kunle Adeyanju, and Jelani Aliyu.

Also, Wale Adesanya, Lola Visser-Mabogunje, John Abraham Godson, Dr Philip Ozuah, Mobolaji Lewis, Dr Ngozi Ogbonna-Erondu were awarded.

Ahmed Musa, a Nigerian footballer, was awarded for his contributions to sports in Nigeria.

Furthermore, the Nigerian and Canadian Business Network, Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas, Nigerians in Diaspora, UK South, Zumunta Association USA, Alistair Soyode of BEN Television were also awarded.

Some of the recipients were present to receive the awards, and some sent representatives.

Some others also gave appreciation via live or pre-recorded video messages.

Okonjo-Iweala, who made a pre-recorded message, appreciated NiDCOM for being recognised for the award.

The director-general of the WTO said: “I am honoured to receive this Diaspora Merit Award 2023 for contributions to finance and economics.

“I am sorry I cannot be with you in person or online due to conflicting engagements but I want to thank you most sincerely for the work you do to make sure people in the Diaspora are kept in view and recognised for their economic, financial, and social contributions.

“Thank you to Diaspora Nigerians working so hard to make the country proud at home and respected globally.”

She also thanked the NiDCOM chairman and members of staff of the commission for “their hard work”.

Temitope Ponle

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750
Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750