The Oyo state government on Wednesday in Abuja, disclosed plans to partner the Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) on setting up and managing a Diaspora Commission in the state.
Mrs Bolanle Sarumi-Aliyu, Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to Oyo state governor on Diaspora, disclosed this when she led a team on a visit to the Chairman of NiDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
She said that the Oyo Diaspora Office was created in April and needed to learn from NiDCOM to excel.
“The Diaspora Office was created in April, we never had one, however we need tutoring, and we need to learn from what madam Diaspora has been doing for so long.
“We would like to partner with NiDCOM on anything relating to Oyo state diasporans, if there is any database or connections that we can link up with.
“We want to introduce them back to the state and also promote investments, there are many of them who want to invest in the state but they don’t have a contact point,” she said.
She disclosed that as a way to stop trafficking, the state had concluded plans to register and certify all travel and job agencies in the state.
According to her, the plan is to ensure that anyone from Oyo state who was going abroad through the agencies would be monitored to ensure that what they were promised is what they got.
She said that if at any point the person cannot be reached or accounted for, then the travel agency must have to produce such a person.
“Oyo state has decided to notify all travel and job agencies operating in Oyo state and that takes citizens out to work, need to be certified and verified by the state.
“If they are not verified, they cannot operate. Whenever they are moving anybody abroad they must submit the details of the person.
“If we cannot reach that person anymore, that agency will be held responsible to fish out the person otherwise the agency will face the consequences,” she said.
She called on other states to also implement the same rules, adding that many times, Oyo state is just a transit state for traffickers and not the originating state.
Speaking on the girls who were recently rescued from Lebanon, the SSA said that the state government was planning an empowerment scheme for them after they have been rehabilitated.
She said that many of them came back drained and needed their hopes to be rekindled.
“The girls that just arrived, many of them came back drained, we need to give them hope, we are hoping that we would do a fund rising online, we will do a webinar and share the links. We hope that people will support the initiative.
“On the issue of human trafficking, Oyo state government will not tolerate any of its citizens being used as slaves anywhere in the world. That is why this office was created to ensure that we repatriate them successfully, rehabilitate them and empower them,” she said.
Responding, Dabiri-Erewa commended Sarumi-Aliyu for ‘hitting the ground running’ with activities centred on rehabilitating the trafficked girls that were just returned.
She commended her for the impact already made within a few months, noting that NiDCOM was open to partner her state or any other state that sought to set up a Diaspora commission.
“Thank you for hitting the ground running, you have made so much impact within a few months and I thank you for what you are doing, the passion and humanity you have brought to it.
“We look forward to working with you and I want to commend you for your pro-activeness and your passion. Your humanity shows through. Like I said earlier, Abia state just put in a bill to have an Abia Diaspora Commission so you could always do that.
“This is a very important aspect of human capital development and a lot can be achieved if this agency is created. Abia has one, Ondo has a committee on Diaspora so they are on the way to doing that.
“This COVID-19 has shown us that home is home, so what kind of home do you want to eventually come to,” she said.
Edited By: Saidu Adamu/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
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