By Umar Muhammad Puma
House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Affairs yesterday called on the federal government to consider upgrading the Nigeria National Volunteer Service (NNVS) to a Commission for Nigerians living and working outside the country.
The Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Abike Dabiri-Erewa(APC-Lagos), made the call while responding to submissions of the Service during a 2014 budget defence session.
“In the meantime, we can see what we can do on our part to upgrade you(the NNVS) to a commission and get some funding for you. We discovered that N200million was provided for the NNVS in the 2012 budget, but the vote in the process of considering the budget, disappeared. But as a Committee, this is quite sad.
“We are requesting the government to create this Commission and provide adequate funding for the NNVS to carry out its functions”, she said.
According to Dabiri-Erewa, Nigeria was one of the few countries in Africa without a Diaspora Commission.
“Nigeria remains one of the few countries in Africa without a Diaspora Ministry. 26 African Countries have Diaspora Ministries and India has grown its economy largely from Diaspora contributions. So, we should do the same here”, he said.
The NNVS, is a Diaspora volunteer agency that organises, regulates and mobilises Nigerians in the Diaspora to contribute to national development.