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HOUSE RECONSIDERS DIASPORA VOTING

PUSH NEWS 24 INTERNATIONAL : November 14th, 2023

The House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora has promised to reintroduce the diaspora voting bill in a bid to accommodate Nigerians living abroad.

Chairman of the Committee and member representing Oluyole federal constituency, Tolulope Shadipe, stated this on Thursday when the Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, appeared before the Committee.

Dabiri-Erewa was at the National Assembly to defend the Commission’s 2023 budget and 2022 budget performance in Abuja on Thursday.

According to Shadipe, the National Assembly will reintroduce the diaspora voting bill which was rejected during the constitution amendment exercise. She said the bill for the diaspora voting would pass this time because that is the direction the world is going and Nigeria must not be left behind.

“We would be back with the bill, they are Nigerians and they have the right to vote in Nigerian elections,” she stated.

“The modalities and the issues that were raised the last time would be resolved and we would come back to it.”

The lawmaker noted that the Committee was also looking at the issue of people of Nigerian descent who are currently not Nigerians but want to return home after DNA tests proved they had ties with the country.

In her response, Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerians to stop migrating to other countries if they did not have jobs there.

According to her, 80 percent of prisoners in Dubai are Nigerians who went there without jobs and got into trouble. The NIDCOM chief said there was a need for stronger multi-sector collaboration to stop the trend.

During the Constitution Amendment by the House of Reps in March, the push for diaspora voting suffered a setback as the lawmakers rejected the bill.

In his own presentation, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele, assured Nigerians in the diaspora that the 10th Senate would put in more effort to pass the bill this time.He said, “We will do our best to make sure that this time around, we achieve your desire in this regard.

Push News 24 Internatioonal repirts that there are millions of Nigerians living abroad. These are the top ten countries with Nigerian population. At the top is the USA (380,785), followed by the UK (190,000), Germany (56,000), Italy (71,000), Canada (51,800), France (30,000), South Africa (30,000), Ireland (17,542), China (10,000) and the Netherlands (9,453)

By Prince Olalekan Ojo Martins

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