The former Under-Secretary General of the United Nations, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, on Tuesday, said that the Nigeria Police Force is the “best in the world” in terms of peacekeeping operations.
Prof. Ibrahim Gambari
Speaking in Abuja, Gambari, who is the Chairman, National Conference Committee on Foreign Policy and Diaspora Matters, made the assertion while presenting the report of the committee to the conference.
According to NAN, Gambari, who commended the police for its professional conduct abroad, however, lamented that certain conditions had hindered same performance at home.
“Incidentally, our people seem to be doing much better abroad than at home. I recalled that the Nigeria Police are the best in the world; I saw them in Angola, I saw them in Rwanda.Then what is happening? How come we are so wonderful abroad and so terrible at home?” he asked.
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The chairman also pointed out that skilled and experienced Nigerians in the Diaspora were making valuable contributions to the economies of their host countries, adding that such expertise and entrepreneurship could be deployed creatively for the development of Nigeria if properly put into use.
According to him, Nigerians in the Diaspora sent over 21 billion US dollars as remittances to Nigeria in 2012.
“Although, the exact amount of these remittances is unknown, as not all of them are sent through official banking channels, the remittances outstrip foreign aids sent by Western donors to the continent” he said.
Gambari, who went ahead to quote a world bank report, revealed that about 60 billion dollars was sent to Africa as remittance in 2013 with Nigeria alone receiving over 21 billion dollars in 2012. In his report to the conference, the committee recommended the establishment of a Diaspora Commission as requested by about 30 million Nigerians in the Diaspora. It also added that Nigerian embassies abroad could not effectively cater for this huge population without a commission, and recommended that the fundamental rights of Nigerians in the Diaspora to vote in the country’s elections should be safeguarded.
“We support the demand by Nigerians in the Diaspora to be allowed to vote in elections. We recommend that the provision of the constitution should be amended to provide for Diaspora voting” he said.
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The former UN envoy said the committee also recommended that the federal government should make the welfare and security of its citizens at home and abroad the centre-piece of its foreign policy as well as restore its relations with neighbouring countries particularly in the area of defence; but should not align with any power bloc.
The committee proposed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should be the principal and focal point in the formulation, advice and implementation of the country’s foreign policy and also recommended the upgrade of the Nigeria’s embassy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in order to improve the country’s diplomatic ratings and image in Africa.
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