The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, has called on Nigeria’s foreign missions to ensure that Nigerians in the diaspora benefit from their services and support.
Ms Akande-Sadipe, (APC-Oluyole Federal Constituency) made the call at a three-day conference on the review of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
In a statement by her media aide, Olamilekan Olusada, on Wednesday, in Ibadan, the lawmaker said the foreign affairs policy reform must address the issues of improved quality representation.
The lawmaker said, “My focus would be our foreign missions and embassies and Nigerians in the diaspora. Can we confidently say that we are meeting the needs of Nigerians who need our services abroad?
“Nigeria’s foreign policy should address the issues with regards to services rendered to Nigerian diaspora citizens at our foreign missions and embassies.”
Ms Akande-Sadipe urged them to honour the country by acts of exemplary service, saying that their selection to represent Nigeria abroad was a privilege.
“We must not relent as the security and welfare of all Nigerians home and abroad should be a reality.
“Representatives need to shake off the demigod mindset and have a service mindset. An exemplary service is what we must strive for, and that’s what you must give back,” she added.
The lawmaker listed immigration, passport issuance, national identity registration, legal representation, and emergency services as other issues requiring attention.
“For instance, the case of Sulaimon, who is on death row today in Saudi Arabia, would have been different if he had legal representation or support from the embassy.
“This innocent 17-year-old boy was made to sign a confession he did not write, as it was written in Arabic,” said the lawmaker.
Ms Akande-Sadipe also lamented human trafficking and the response of Nigeria’s missions and embassies to the plight of Nigerian victims.
“Granting the diaspora more respect by the missions of their beloved country will further enhance their contribution to the socio-political and economic development of Nigeria.
“Nigerians in diaspora account for annual remittances of over $26 billion either as investments or direct capital inflow into Nigeria,” said Ms Akande-Sadipe.