The House of Representatives Committee on the Diaspora has revealed that the 9th Assembly would commence the second reading of the Diaspora Voting Bill for the enfranchisement of Nigerians living in the Diaspora.
This much was revealed by the Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, in a statement signed by her Special Assistant on Media, Olamilekan Olusada.
According to Olusada, Hon. Akande-Sadipe made the revelation during a meeting with Nigerians living in the United States, where she told them that this was part of the 9th Assembly’s commitment to the Diaspora community.
Opining that Nigerians living outside the country have as much stake in the present and future of Nigeria as those who live in Nigeria, Hon Akande-Sadipe said, “We are working to ensure that the Diaspora voting becomes a reality. Although, there are some challenges to be worked out in the implementation, nonetheless, the process has begun.”
She further revealed that the House of Representatives has thrown its weight behind the enfranchisement of Nigerians abroad; and that the bill in the amended format will come up for the second reading by the House of Representatives upon resumption from the recess.
Conveying the goodwill of Rt. Hon. Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the House Committee on Diaspora, Hon Akande-Sadipe further assured Nigerian citizens living abroad of the readiness of the 9th Assembly to partner with all relevant stakeholders in formulating policies that represent Sustainable National Growth and Development.
She however called on the Federal Government to leverage on the Diaspora Resources for National Development, which is aimed at creating an avenue for prospective, meaningful and sustainable diaspora investments, adding, “If well realized, it will boost economic growth and development of our great country – Nigeria.”
Charging the Federal Government to intensify the design and implementation of strategies to harness the nation’s grossly underutilized potentials in the diaspora, Akande-Sadipe said that doing this would successfully catapult the Nigerian economy from the state of ‘commodity-dominated’ production to high ‘value-added’ production.