I had the privilege to be in attendance at the Zoom live edition, of the 2021’s National Diaspora Day, hosted by Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) on the 25th of July 2021.

The event had distinguished personalities on board including Director General of World Trade Organization Dr. Ngozi Okonji-Iweala, joining live from Geneva, Hon Abike Dani Erewa, Hon Amina Mohammed, Hon Tolulope Akande-Sadipe K, Senator Dr. Ibrahim Yaya Oluregbe and a host of others to mention but a few.

On an interview with the Director General of WTO, she expressed how much she misses Nigeria and also appreciates all Nigerians in the diaspora while commending them for their contributions to Nation building with respect to trade and investment.
Dr. Iweala admonished them to do more stating that there’s something everyone can do to help create jobs in Nigeria, irrespective of where there are, as that will help in improving the health and economic situation at home, and also in a way support peace and security during this period of the pandemic.

Dr. Iweala noted that the WTO is doing everything possible to scale up and improve Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises and also help women build up more businesses.
She also talked about efforts to ensure that vaccines are circulated in all parts of Africa including Nigeria.

When asked what her opinion on Nigerians in Diaspora voting during elections was, Dr. Iweala said every Nigerian deserves to vote not withstanding where they are, as long as they’re Nigerians and also contributing hugely to the GDP of the nation yearly.
She also encouraged the commission to create a one stop shop for Nigerians where they can come to contribute their professional expertise to national development knowing how intellectually robust Nigerians are all over the globe.

When asked how she managed to overcome the challenges of being a woman and first African mounting such a tasking position, said it has indeed being intellectually challenging especially during her campaigns. She talked about competence and not because she is a woman, and that that was part of the criterion that stood her out, as the process was really competitive, according to her, doing the job and doing it effectively was all that mattered.

Furthermore on how she is able to balance her career and home, she said she tries to enjoy the job and do what she has been passionate about, which has been her major driving force, she also noted that she has a very supportive partner who always helps her through every phase of her assignment, she added that she has been able to teach her 3 sons on every house chores that needed to be done including cooking, and by extension how to become supportive spouses to their wives in future, adding that every parent owes such an obligation to their children.

In conclusion, her message to thousands of Nigerians listening from diaspora is to let them know how proud of them she is, cos they are hardworking, she admonished them to remember there are Nigerians and thus should continue to do right anywhere they find themselves and desist from wrong deeds, having in mind that they’re the country’s mirror image and should be able to promote and protect that legacy.

Notice: The NiDCOM committee hereby calls on recommendations for award of merit to Nigerians in Diaspora who have contributed to Nation building under the auspices of National Diaspora Awards.

Nominations should be done at NiDCOM.gov.ng/nomination

This report is brought to you live from Abuja by Odenke Ibiang

Happy National Diaspora Day 2021 to all Nigerians in Diaspora