Special Adviser to the Enugu State Governor on Diaspora Affairs, Barr (Mrs.) Olangwa Ezekwu, has commended the governor, Rt. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for his “tireless efforts” at mobilizing Enugu State indigenes resident abroad towards attracting foreign direct investments to the State.
Speaking against the backdrop of the 2021 World Diasporan Day Celebrations, Ezekwu noted that “the impactful relationship” Governor Ugwuanyi had nurtured with Enugu State Diaspora community had yielded positive results in the form of investments and other forms of assistance to the people of the state.
“Beyond the well-known role as senders of remittances from all over the world, Diasporans have engaged in promoting trade and foreign direct investment, creating businesses and spurring entrepreneurship by which new knowledge and skills are transferred to our citizens,” Ezekwu said.
Indeed, “in the words of Kathleen Newland and Sonia Plaza, an engaged diaspora can be an asset – or even a counterweight to the emigration of skilled and talented migrants,” she added.
She also praised the efforts of the CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Rt. Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, for providing the leadership and platform for the engagement of Nigerians in Diaspora towards national development, noting that the Enugu State Government had over the years, maintained an open-door-policy on diaspora-related issues and had, through that, created a profitable synergy with the citizens of the state living and doing business abroad.
While listing some of her achievements in office, Barr Ezekwu stated that her office, in line with the state governor’s Four Point Agenda, has attracted projects that have contributed a lot to the improvement of the lives of the people of the state, especially rural dwellers.
Mentioning some of her achievements, she said her agency mobilized the Enugu Diaspora community to provide skills acquisition and vocational training for the disabled people at Emene and Oji River Rehab Centres as well as the inmates at Oji-River Leprosy Centre.
Others include, donations to the International Committee of the Red Cross and motherless babies homes, donation of ICT equipment to the a centre at the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu; donation of relief materials to displaced people in Ukpabi-Nimbo community, in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of the state; donation of agricultural machinery, educational materials as well as medical intervention programmes in various parts of the state.
“I believe we have done quite a lot since we were given this opportunity to enable a handshake between the Enugu State Government and our brothers and sisters living abroad, she said, adding:
“This office, in partnership with Soroptomist International, donated huge Medical Equipment worth over N50,000,000.00 to Enugu State Government for enhanced healthcare delivery. We have carried out a comprehensive medical mission in all 17 LGAs of the State. We have made interventions in the lives and living conditions of widows in the state and we have mobilized resources to rebuild school structures. We have done quite well and that is why we cannot overstate the importance of a seamless relationship with our diaspora communities across the world, because I know that with stronger relationships, we will be able to achieve more for our people.”