The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) says the Irish diaspora engagement should serve as a strategic partnership for Nigeria’s sustained engagement with her citizens living outside the country.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Gabriel Odu, Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, NIDCOM, in Abuja.
Chairman of the commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said this when the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Peter Ryan paid a courtesy visit to NiDCOM.
Dabiri-Erewa said this was against the backdrop of the Irish Diaspora pulling their country out of recession.
The NiDCOM boss added that the commission could tap into their wealth of engagement with the Diaspora to bring the Nigerians living outside the country closer to the country.
Dabiri-Erewa also said NiDCOM had created diaspora-centric activities since its establishment four years ago.
She, however, assured him of the commission’s support and partnership with the Irish Diaspora Ministry, and by extension, the Irish Government.
The Irish Ambassador to Nigeria agreed that the two countries had enjoyed better diaspora relationship, educational and cultural connections via the Diaspora agencies of both Ireland and Nigeria.
The envoy said that his visit was to compare notes and share ideas for a more robust diaspora engagement.
He, however, said there was still more to learn in the area of focus and find ways of collaboration.
Ryan said that the Irish government recognised the power of the diaspora and the need to engage with its people outside the shores of their country through various channels, as the Irish Diaspora was proud of their homeland.
He added: “With the Irish 40 per cent Diaspora, they have 25 per cent younger population in Africa and they have the resilient spirit as Nigerians, as they perform excellently well in their various fields.”
Ryan also lauded the NiDCOM and Dabiri-Erewa for the show of care to Nigerians during the Ukraine and Sudan Crises, saying: “The Diaspora is the greatest treasure to any country in the world.” (NAN)
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