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Communiqué of the 2009 Nigerian Diaspora Day Celebration

(held at Abuja, July 24-25 2009)


This Communiniqué carries recommendations which specifically challenged the Diaspora to certain developmental aspirations for Nigeria in the run-up to the year 2020 and in realisation of Nigeria Vision 2020. Having taken a cursory look at the recommendations, it is my belief that some areas are complementary to policy objectives which we are currently pursuing while others are novel to it. We may therefore want to take closer look at these recommendations and begin to ponder over how these could shape some aspects of the policy objectives of NIDO Europe in the coming years

Below is the text of the communiqué issued at the end of the Nigeria Diaspora Day held in Abuja on July 24-25, 2009 in which delegates from NIDOE-Russia was also participated.



Pursuant to the establishment of July 25th of every year as Nigerian Diaspora Day by theNigerian government, the 4th Annual Nigerian Diaspora Day Celebration was held on July 25, 2009 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. The event was attended by Nigerians residing on the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. The event was sponsored by Bank PHB of Nigeria.


The Executive and Legislative branches of the Nigerian government participated in and attended the ceremonies marking this year’s celebration. The opening ceremony was declared open by the Chairman of the Nigerian Assembly (which is comprised of the Senate and the House of Representatives) His Excellency Senate President David Mark, impressively represented by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Senator Jibril Aminu. Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Minister for Foreign Affairs, ably represented by Ambassador Joe Keshi led the Executive Branch’s delegation to the ceremonies.


This year marked the first time that over 60 organizations of Nigerians in the Diaspora from three Continents, led by the Nigerians in the Diaspora Organization (NIDO-Europe) took charge and control of the annual activities of Diaspora Day. An international and inter-organizational Global Planning Committee, to which delegates were sent by various Nigerian groups around the world, organized the event. The Nigerian Diaspora Day for 2009 was also simultaneously celebrated in countries around the world, including, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Turkey, and the United States. The Global Planning Committee was headed by Dr. John George, the Chairman of NIDO-Europe.


Following the formal opening ceremony, several scholars, political activists, civil society groups, government representatives presented papers and participated in an interactive session with the Nigerian Diaspora. At the conclusion of the ceremonies and deliberations (which were moderated by Dr. Ugorji O. Ugorji of the Nigerian Peoples Forum-USA), the Nigerian Diaspora, as represented by the delegates in attendance, resolved as follows:


1. The delegates resolved to adopt Senator Jibril Aminu’s call for a “Diaspora Content” in all publicly funded projects at the federal and state levels, similar to the current provision of “Local Content” in procurement procedures. We urge the legislative and executive branches of government at all levels of government in Nigeria to enact the necessary laws, rules and regulations to actualize the notion of Diaspora Content.”


2. The delegates commend the initiative reported by ANAC on efforts through the law courts of Nigeria to secure voting rights for Nigerian’s abroad during national elections. We urge the legislative and executive branches of government to enact the necessary laws, rules and regulations to ensure that Nigerians in the Diaspora exercise their rights of citizenship by voting in the next scheduled national elections in 2011.


3. The delegates reemphasized our long-standing call for a Diaspora Commission to be established by an act of the Legislature to champion the causes of the Nigerian Diaspora and coordinate Diaspora input in national development.


4. The delegates mandated the Global Planning committee to appoint a professional entity to evaluate the past four Diaspora Day activities and take inventory of the verifiable contributions of the Nigerian Diaspora to national development.


5. While the Nigerian Diaspora is encouraged to continue being involved in developing all sectors of the Nigerian economy and society, the delegates resolved to declare the Education and Healthcare Sectors as the Priority Sectors for Nigerian Diaspora contribution to national development in the next three years. The delegates deplored the current state of affairs in both sectors and further resolved to review the priority status of the two sectors at the end of the three years.


6. The delegates further resolved to mandate the Global Planning committee to convene a Diaspora Leadership Forum within the next six months at a location in the Diaspora to be determined by the committee. At that forum, to which participating Nigerian organizations shall send delegates, the Nigerian Diaspora shall among other things, establish modalities for the implementation of the contributions to the Priority Sectors and plan for the 2010 Nigerian Diaspora Day celebrations.


7. The delegates further resolved to re-empanel the current central organizing committee for the next six months, with all authorities and mandates pertaining thereto.


8. Five Nigerians were presented with “Certificates of Excellence” in appreciation of their contributions to the cause of the Nigerian Diaspora. The recipients were Professor Senator Jubril Aminu; Ambassador Joe Keshi; Ambassador J.U. Ayalogu; Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole; and Professor Augustine Esogbue.


9. The delegates commended the successful efforts of the Global Planning Committee and resolved that future activities in celebration of Diaspora Day shall continue to be organized primarily by Nigerians in the Diaspora in collaboration with the relevant agencies and bodies in Nigeria.


10. A special resolution of gratitude and commendation to Bank PHB, sponsors of the 2009 Nigerian Diaspora Day, was passed unanimously and with acclaim.



"Your contribution to the development of your fatherland is a duty,
so God bless you as you join NIDOE in the pursuance of Nigeria national development"



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NIDOE RUSSIA is organizing a conference to mark the Nigerian Russia Diaspora Day. We look forward to your active contributions in paper presentation and program sponsorship.