Abuja – The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa has called on the Benue Government to engage professionals in the Diaspora for the development of the state.
Dabiri-Erewa made the call on Thursday in Abuja when Rev. Peter Ichull, Senior Special Assistant to the Benue Governor on Diaspora Affairs paid her a courtesy visit.
The Presidential aide said that Nigerians in Diaspora with their wealth of experiences, competent skill and professionalism, could help the state develop its economy especially the agricultural sector.
“As the food basket of the nation, it is important that you work with the people in the Diaspora, those that are interested in investing in agriculture and those interested in giving back to their country.
“We don’t need to look for foreigners; we have Nigerians that are ready to do it. We will like to partner with you, link you up with them.
“We have no reason not to be self sufficient in food; we will be working with Benue, the food basket of the nation,“she said.
Dabiri-Erewa said Nigeria has talents that were willing to do everything, adding that, “This is the time to engage every professional in the Diaspora, especially Nigerians who are willing.
“They are not asking for anything, they want to be part of it so we are willing to work with you in this regard, and then have them invest in some areas especially in agriculture,” she added.
She said that Benue had some of its indigenes that are very vibrant in agriculture, adding that her office would link them up with the government to develop the state.
She commended the state for having a specialised desk for the enhanced seamless relationship between the state and the Diaspora.
“Since you have a desk now they will have somebody to talk with, this is the role that we are playing, have them engaged, meet the relevant departments and authorities, and in particular the state,” she said.
Speaking earlier, Ichull, said Gov. Samuel Ortom knew the importance of Diaspora to the economic development of the state and would be willing to engage them.
He said the choice of Dabiri-Erewa for the office was remarkable at this auspicious time, considering her vast experience in the area.
“Gov. Ortom believes very strongly, that by proactively engaging our communities in Diaspora will keep them abreast of our coordinated efforts at improving the socio-economic conditions of Nigerians,“he said.
He however assured that the governor was ready to partner with Dabiri-Erewa’s office to provide a place for Benue indigenes in the Diaspora numbering over 10,000 people.(NAN)