Nigerians abroad to vote in future elections, Lawan promises
•Insists safe schools initiative designed to fail
Nigerians abroad are to vote during general elections soon, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has said.
He stated that modalities would be put in place once the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is through with the bill.
Lawan also restated the National Assembly’s commitment to the welfare of Nigerians in Diaspora.
The Senate President stated this during the official presentation of a compendium titled “+600 Diaspora icons at 60” by Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa and management staff in Abuja.
Lawan commended the doggedness, passion and determination of the NIDCOM boss in bringing Diaspora issues to the front burner right from her days in the parliament.
He promised to support the organisation in its “enormous task of engaging the Diasporas, especially with the adoption and ratification of the National Diaspora Policy in tandem with Nigeria’s foreign policy.”
Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, vouched for the commitment of the National Assembly to work with INEC in ensuring that Nigerians exercise their franchise irrespective of their locations.
During the unveiling, the NIDCOM boss said the compendium “is a compilation of some of the extraordinary and exceptional exploits of Nigerians in the Diaspora in different sectors.”
Dabiri-Erewa observed that her agency was out to build trust in citizens living abroad and fast-track investments through various programmes.
She added that the National Diaspora Investment Summit had attracted over 300 Nigerians investing in different sectors of the economy.
Other programmes of the commission, the ex-federal lawmaker added, included “Diaspora door of returns, Diaspora data mapping, Diaspora portal mechanism, Diaspora lecture series, annual National Diaspora Day and appointment of 33 Diaspora Focal Point Officers across the states.”
This comes as the number three citizen insisted that the nation’s Safe School Initiative Programme was designed to fail.
He was, yesterday, addressing the investigative hearing of the Senate Joint Committee on Education (Basic & Secondary) and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND in response to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono that had said his agency played no role in the funding of the project.
Echono had claimed that the Federal Ministry of Finance funded the programme to the exclusion of the education ministry.
Lawan noted that the development was not good enough.