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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

NNVS to honour Nigerians in Diaspora, seeks nomination

By Remmy Nweke

Nigerian National Volunteer Service (NNVS) would honour some members of Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO), who significantly contributed to the growth of development in the country such as in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), at the first Nigerian Diaspora Day (NDD) slated to hold in Abuja in July.

NNVS is under the office of the Secretary to the federation is collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, with this year’s theme on “Bridging the Digital and Scientific Divides: Forging Partnerships with the Nigerian”.

Coordinator at NNVS and chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), Mr. Joe Keshi disclosed this in a letter seeking nominations from members of NIDO worldwide titled “Recognizing and celebrating the Nigerians Diaspora” would come in form of “Presidential Nigerian Diaspora Award”.

He also said in the letter addressed to presidents and chairmen of NIDO in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, that on July 25, Nigeria would for the first time mark the Nigerian Diaspora Day.

“It is a Day declared to draw attention to Nigerians in the Diaspora as stakeholders in the Nigerian Project, recognize their contributions to national development and celebrate their individual and collective success,” he stated.

The Diaspora Day, he further said, would be marked with a number of activities, including the second Science conference, along parallel workshops comprising that on project collaboration, execution and some other events of interest to the NIDO.

The LOC chairman equally noted that NDD is part of the efforts of the government to mobilize and encourage the participation of the NIDO members in development process thereby providing them ample opportunities to contribute to the transformation of the country into a modern industrialized nation.

Already, Mr. Keshi said, a number of Nigerians in the Diaspora are now involved in small and large investments in the country which are bound to impact positively on the society.

“Some are involved in capacity building and a large number continue to carry out humanitarian missions to Nigeria to provide much needed medical relief, especially to people in the rural areas,” he asserted. He cited an instance that in the last three years, more than 30 medical missions have been undertaken to Nigeria, especially from America.

And in furtherance of government’s envisaged partnership for nation’s building, he said, there is need for the involvement of a critical mass of professionals from the diaspora.

“Nigerians must recognize that they and nobody else, will develop the country and this could be accomplished through the joint establishment of businesses, industries and building the appropriate capacities including leadership,” he said.

As such, he pointed out that efforts are being made to identify, recognize and celebrate the contributions of those who are already engaged in one development efforts or the other.

To this end, LOC is seeking nomination as a way of recognizing those who contributed significantly starting this year.

Other initiative, according to him, is first a compilation of annual activities, including investments of NIDO members, along with the institution of a Presidential Nigerian Diaspora Award.

“While the compendium is to highlight the growing contributions of Nigerians in the Diaspora and illustrate their increasing participation in the affairs of Nigeria, the Presidential Award is to accord due recognition to the immense contributions being made by Nigerians abroad to the socio-economic development of the country,” he said.

LOC, therefore seeks nomination of Nigerian professionals or organizations’ activities so far carried out in the country, location, focus, impact and cost, which could either be completed or on-going.

For the Presidential award, LOC requested identification and nomination of NIDO members whose projects, programme and activities specifically focused in the country that worth recognition.

Deadline for submission of nominations, the coordinator informed, is June 30 and could be facilitated via joekeshi@nnvs-ng.org.

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