Home News Why Nigerians in Diaspora can’t vote now – Buhari; targets ‎5,000mw power...

Why Nigerians in Diaspora can’t vote now – Buhari; targets ‎5,000mw power generation by 2016‎

ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – ‎President Muhammadu Buhari has given reasons Nigerians in the Diaspora will still not be able to vote in Nigeria’s elections from their bases abroad.
One of the reasons he gave is that it would require a lot of logistics to be put in place first before that could happen in future but did not give any time frame.
In the same vain, the President has said that Nigeria could benefit from the acquired skills and exposure of Nigerians in the Diaspora to build a thriving economy. ‎
He has also affirmed his administration’s commitment to protect the rights of law-abiding Nigerians in their various countries of abode.‎
He said these at the 2015 Diaspora Day held at the Old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, with the theme: “Diaspora and Nigeria’s Change Agenda.”
Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, he however, assured that the Federal government was determined to build a reliable data base of the population of Nigerians living abroad as a critical step to harnessing the gains for national development.‎
He stressed that legislation, huge finance, and confidence in the electoral system were required before Diaspora voting could commence.
He said: “We are also aware of the importance of voting rights of Nigerians abroad. But to achieve this, the National Assembly will have to legislate. Diaspora voting is in Nigeria’s future.
“Because obviously there is a lot to be done including building confidence in the Nigerian electoral process. The skills and planning required in planning a number of national election in an atmosphere of continued suspicion of each party is a major challenge by itself.
“Our electoral process is evolving and as greater confidence is built in the institutions and processes associated with it, we may then create voting opportunities for our citizens abroad in the not too distant future.”
The President stressed that his administration was building a new Nigeria that requires the support and participation of all, including Nigerians in the Diaspora.
He said, “Permit me to take this opportunity to interrogate the place and role of Nigerians abroad in the Change Agenda of the Buhari administration.
[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”10”]

“This is because we have embarked on the building of a bold new Nigeria and we need all hands on deck.

“The time has come for talents from home and abroad to mix it up in patriotic zeal to fashion the Nigeria of our dreams”, he said.
Buhari said that government’s intervention would come in the provision of physical and economic infrastructure and social policies that provide opportunity and succour for the 110 million extremely poor Nigerians in the country.
He said the administration was targeting consistent generation of 5,000mw of power daily by early 2016, describing it as a modest target from what was already available.
The President also said that efforts were on to complete a variety of outstanding power-related projects in order to lay the foundation for 10,000mw and 15,000mw subsequently.
Buhari said that government was pursuing a long overdue reform in the hydrocarbon industry and reorganising the NNPC and holding the officials accountable for past revenue losses.
He said government would improve the local refining capacity to reduce the over 37 per cent of foreign exchange applied to the importation of refined products.
In agriculture, he said that a programme of self-sustenance was on in the production of rice, wheat and cotton in order to reduce foreign exchange requirement for importation of such items.
He said that rice importation alone gulped about $4 billion annually, adding that seven rice producing states were working in concert with the Federal Government to map out the pathway to self-sustenance in rice production within 30 months.
The President said that the agricultural and agro-allied value chain remained a priority of government in job creation plans as it would support local agriculture.
He said that plans were on to create a friendly and efficient environment for investments by removing bureaucracies and red tapes in approval processes stressing that the incentive regime in the country would also be reviewed.
Efforts, he said, are on to return all garment and textile factories to full production capacity within the shortest time possible.
He said that to address youth unemployment, government would invest in infrastructure, technology, agriculture and mining while the one-meal-a-day programme for primary schools would also create many jobs and business opportunities.
The President said that government would implement social intervention schemes to make no fewer than 110 million extremely poor Nigerians to participate in the new Nigeria.
According to him, the experience and exposure of Nigerians abroad would be tapped to building a thriving economy as done by other nations.
He pointed out that India, Japan, China and Korea attained global status following the contributions of their nationals abroad.
The President said the administration was convinced that the nationals abroad could participate in the change agenda with their 15 millions population with about four million in U.S. and Canada and about one million in London.
He said: “Besides, the financial remittances from Nigerians abroad have well reached an estimate of over $20 billion in 2014.
“With the potential of such huge populations abroad and attendant financial muscle, no government can actually totally ignore such persons,” he said
He said that the place to start was to develop a reliable data of Nigerian citizens abroad using the Embassies and missions.

Speaking with State House Correspondents after the conference, former chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said it was critical for the present administration to establish a Diaspora commission to enhance relations with Nigerians abroad and facilitate Diaspora voting.
The High Commissioner of Trinidad and Tobago to Nigeria, Ambassador Nyahuma Obika challenged African leaders to strengthen socio-economic ties amongst the six regions of Africa.‎‎
A forrmer Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe; European Union Ambassador, Michel Arrion; Chief of Mission, International Organisation for Migration IOM, Enira Krdzalic were among dignitaries in attendance.
Previous articlePublisher in court for alleged defamatory publication against Fidelity Bank MD
Next articleRebuilding Nigeria requires all hands on deck, says Buhari

Leave a Reply