Senate Seeks Independent Budgetary Provision for NiDCOM

The Senate has called for an independent budgetary provision for the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) by separating its budget from the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Diaspora and Non Governmental Organisations, Victor Umeh made the call on Monday in Abuja, while presenting budget defence report of the committee before the  Appropriation Committee.

Umeh said the call became necessary,  following the importance of NiDCOM to activities of Nigerians in the  diaspora.

“NiDCOM) should have an independent budget from the  ministry of foreign affairs, since it is a commission established by act of the National Assembly.

“There are other agencies that  do not do much as NiDCOM but have independent budgetary provisions.”

He said Nigerians in diaspora  contributed  to the nation’s development maximally, adding that 24 billion dollars was remitted to Nigeria in 2022 by Nigerians living abroad.

He said despite the huge remittances, budgetary allocation to the commission had remained too low  to take care of the needs of the commission in the discharge of its mandate.

Umeh said that Nigerians, who generated money abroad  have various needs and challenges that required NiDCOM’s  attention and supervision, saying that the commission was not adequately funded to discharge the duties.

According to him, there is need to provide funds also to organise Diaspora  Investment Summit in Canada, America, United Kingdom, America, and other parts of the world to bring Nigerians together to partner with Federal and state governments for investments .

This, Umeh said, could also help drive the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

“The diaspora  investment summit has has huge  economic value, as one cannot quantify the amount of money  remitted  to Nigeria,  24 billion dollars  was remitted in 2022 alone.”

The labour party senator said there was urgent need to improve the budgetary provision of NiDCOM, given the enermous challenges faced by the commission.

He said there was no way NiDCOM could travel to nations of the world to seek solutions to challenges of Nigerians abroad with the little budgetary allocation.

He said the committee approved the insertion of five new line items,  amounting to N1 billion from the proposed N2.5 billion for approval of the appropriation committee. Naira Devaluation Deepens Economic Crisis in Nigeria

Chairman of the appropriation committee, Sen. Solomon Adeola, said NiDCOM actually required funding to function accordingly.

He said  the committee would pay attention to NiDCOM, when reporting to senate.