The House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora has revealed that the 9th Assembly would commence the second reading on Diaspora Voting Bill for the enfranchisement of Nigerians living in the Diaspora.
The Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, revealed this in a statement by her Special Assistant on Media, Olamilekan Olusada, on Thursday.
Olusada said Hon. Akande-Sadipe made the revelation during a meeting with Nigerians living in the United States, adding that this was part of the 9th Assembly’s commitment to the Diaspora community.
Akande-Sadipe opined that Nigerians living outside the country have as much stake in the present and future of Nigeria as those who live in Nigeria.
She 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 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 upon resumption from the recess.
She conveyed the goodwill of the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, and the House Committee on Diaspora.
Hon Akande-Sadipe further assured 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 Diaspora Resources for National Development, which is aimed at creating an avenue for prospective, meaningful and sustainable diaspora investments.
She said: “If well realised, it will boost the economic growth and development of our great country, Nigeria.”
She charged the Federal Government to intensify the design and implementation of strategies to harness the Nation’s grossly under-utilised potentials in the diaspora.
This, she said, would successfully transition the Nigerian economy from the state of commodity-dominated production to high value-added production.