From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja


The Federal Government has assured Nigerians resident in Ghana of renewed engagement, dedication and commitment to addressing a plethora of challenges confronting them.

Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, gave the assurance at a Townhall Meeting with Nigerians in Ghana on the sidelines of the African Diaspora Forum (DAF) Award 2024 in Accra, Ghana.

Ina statement issued by Gabriel Odu, of the Commission’s Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, the NIDCOM boss while clarifying one of the many questions bordering on the recent relocation of the Commission to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; explained that the Commission is already part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and its operations have been seamless.

According to her, the integration into the Ministry would strengthen the Commission and enhance engagement because it will now be an agency.

Dabiri-Erewa also provided insights into NiDCOM’s programmes such as the forthcoming launch of the Diaspora Housing Mortgage Scheme scheduled for April.

She emphasised that the Federal Government, through the Federal Mortgage Bank, will offer a N50 million mortgage to support home ownership in Nigeria for citizens residing abroad.

“This initiative aims to empower Nigerians abroad to own homes in Nigeria, excluding Lagos and Abuja, at favourable rates,” she explained.

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Additionally, Dabiri-Erewa highlighted other NiDCOM initiatives such as the Diaspora Investment Summit, Diaspora Quarterly Lecture, National Diaspora Day, and National Diaspora Merit Award, as a platform to address the challenges encountered by Nigerians residing in Ghana.

The participants while seeking government’s intervention expressed concern about the high cost of residence permit in Ghana, influx of trafficked under-aged girls and boys, the status of Nigerian traders in Ghana, the need to have a comprehensive list of accredited universities to prevent Nigerian students from being victims of unapproved Universities and many others.

They also commended the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo for his innovations in passport application processes.

In his remarks, Nigeria’s Head of Mission, Usman Aliyu Bakori, expressed appreciation to the Chairman for prioritising Diaspora issues and for promptly addressing their concerns whenever they called.

He also welcomed the housing scheme proposal, stating, “We value your insights. Nigerian citizens in Ghana abide by the law. While we face occasional challenges, we strive to manage them. We appeal to the Federal Government for financial support, especially considering the fluctuating exchange rates affecting our operations in Ghana.”

He emphasised the importance of devising strategies to facilitate traders’ ownership of shops and properties without encountering harassment.

The meeting witnessed presentations from various groups in Ghana, including the Igbo, Yoruba and Arewa groups, Students Union, Trader Union, Professionals, and other associations.