In a bid to galvanise holistic and realistic data of Nigerians in the diaspora, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) has launched its Data Mapping and Registry Portal in Abuja.
Inaugurating the portal, the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, remarked that the portal would enhance diaspora participation in demographic and national planning as well as budgeting purposes at all levels of governance.
Ambassador Dada maintained that it is a thing of pride and urged every Nigerian in the Diaspora to partake in it as one of the critical tools to encourage the diaspora for national development.
The chairman/CEO of the commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said that the event was to create awareness and develop a collaborative agenda for the development of a credible data base of Nigerians in the diaspora.
“It was necessary to set up a reliable and scalable data base of the Nigerian diaspora to provide for engagement of the Nigerian diaspora in the policies, project and programmes of the Nigerian government at all levels,” she said.
Dabiri-Erewa further asserted that in 2020, the commission started the establishment of data mapping sites, which served as the foremost capturing platform for raw data in over 10 countries, and that it is expected to capture at least 20 countries 2021.
The NiDCOM boss said the commission is investing in high-tech mechanisms such as AI (Artificial Intelligence) systems and advanced data analytic systems in order to recognise and bring Nigerian diaspora together.
Franz Celestin, the Chief of Mission, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said that the launch of the data mapping platform is a historical moment for the commission, the Nigerian diaspora and the country.
He encouraged Nigerians in the diaspora to make optimum use of the opportunity.
His view was corroborated by the representative of the European Union, Elena Zezelidou, who commended NIDCOM’s dedication and commitment to ensuring the Diaspora Portal is launched as well as the ratification of the National Diaspora Policy by the Federal Executive Council.
The Head of Technology, Transfer and Innovation (TTI) Department (NIDCOM), Hon. Abdulrahman Terab, said the platform is specially designed to be user-friendly, with seamless questions, aimed at sorting, marking and analysing data, used to make sense of the future.