Senator Umeh calls for independent budgetary provisions for NIDCOM


Senator Umeh has called for independent budgetary provisions for Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), via separating its budget from the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The legislator who is the Chairman Senate Committee on Diaspora and Non Governmental Organisations, made the call on Monday in Abuja, while presenting the 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 Diaspora.“The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (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 who do not do as much as NIDCOM, but have independent budgetary provision.He said Nigerians in Diaspora were contributing to the nation’s development maximally, adding that 24billion dollars was remitted to Nigeria in 2022 by the diasporans.He said despite the huge remittance the allocation to the commission has remained too paltry to take care of the needs of the commission in the discharge of its mandate.

Umeh said that Nigerians who generate money from diaspora have various needs and challenges that require NIDCOM attention and supervision, saying that the commission was not adequately funded to discharge the duties.

According to him, there is a need to provide funds also to organise Diaspora Investment Summit in Canada, America, United Kingdom, and other parts of the world to bring Nigerians together to partner federal and state governments for investments.This, he said, could also help drive the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

“This one is critical, Diaspora Investment Summit, that one has economic value. You can’t quantify the amount of money they remit to Nigeria,24 billion dollars in 2022 alone.”

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

Umeh said there was no way NIDCOM could travel to nations to seek solutions to the 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.Chairman of the Committee,

Sen. Solomon Adeola, said NIDCOM actually required funding to function accordingly.He said that the committee would pay attention to NIDCOM when reporting to the Senate.