The Nigerian High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Dr. Habiss Ibrahim Ugbada, has on Saturday, 6th July, officially launched the Nigerian In Diaspora Organization (NIDO) Sierra Leone Chapter at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Freetown.
The High Commissioner also inaugurated and issued congratulatory certificates to the newly elected executives of NIDO.
Launching the organization at the jam-packed Bintumani Conference Centre, the High Commissioner stated that: "For us in Sierra Leone, NIDO is not just an organization,it is rather a movement to mobilize, galvanize and unify Nigerians in diaspora. It is a movement to reposition ourselves in our various countries of assignment. It is a movement to rebrand, rebound and promote the image of our country, the great Nigeria. It is indeed to tell the world in times not in words that Nigeria and Nigerians have come of age."
He congratulated the Federal Government of Nigeria and President Buhari for bringing into reality the signing into law the establishment of the Diaspora Commission and the subsequent appointment of a chairperson of the commission.
He stated that Nigeria is great country with its even people greater, adding that every Nigerian is a world citizen 'going by our potential and natural endowment.'
He said the Federal Government of Nigeria was leaving no stone unturned in creating a new Nigeria and Nigerians in diaspora, stating that on his arrival and on assumption of duty as High Commissioner, he launched an open door policy to look into issues bordering Nigerians in Sierra Leone.
"We have succeeded in mobilizing and uniting Nigerians in Sierra Leone."
He said they would be launching the Nigerian Chamber of Commerce and that the High Commission was engaging authorities on how to make the business environment friendlier for Nigerians in Sierra Leone
He cautioned the new NIDO executive that 'to whom much is given much is expected' and pleaded with all Nigerians in Sierra Leone to join the initiative and promote the image of their country.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Nabila Tunis dilated on the bond between Sierra Leone and Nigeria and thanked Nigerians for their support in time of need over the years.
She stated that the Government of Sierra Leone is willing to collaborate with NIDO in several arrears of interest.
She reiterated that the government and people of Sierra Leone remain deeply grateful for the support over the years, stating that Sierra Leone has stronger ties with Nigeria.
"We assure you that the continued support you looking for would definitely be provided. The government and people of Sierra Leone are here ready to sit with you shoulder to shoulder to strengthen the relationship we have developed over the years," she said.
Newly Elected President of NIDO,Abiodun Oyebola ,said the inauguration ceremony was a celebration of unity, the bringing together of Nigerians for common purpose of economic and intellectual advancement, and cooperation with our host community-the people and government of the Republic of Sierra Leone.
He dilated that the Federal Government of Nigeria has developed a platform for the engagement of Nigerians living in different countries across the world, by establishing the Nigerians in Disapora Commission through the Act of Parliament in July 2017.
He stated that: "We at NIDO Sierra Leone wish to acknowledge and appreciate the good people and Government of Sierra Leone for providing us with the enabling environment to express our potentials as Nigerians to various fields of endeavour.Sierra Leone herself is a nation especially blessed by God by wiping away the scars of the gory civil that ended in less than two decades ago.Today,according to the global peace index, Sierra Leone is rated the most peaceful country in west Africa, with abundant natural resources in solid minerals, agriculture and tourism."
He said NIDO Sierra Leone, will under his leadership continue to engage the Government of Sierra Leone in progressive partnership and cooperation.
"For this, we have identified three key major projects in the areas of education, health and commerce as our starting point. We shall pursue vigorously the establishment of NIDO nursery, primary and secondary school,NIDO medical centre and NIDO House,a multipurpose centre to serve as our secretariat, accommodate the Nigeria Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, Sierra Leone," he said.
He appealed to all his compatriots to support them in their projects to actualize their grand humanitarian dream.
He expressed thanks and appreciation to all colleague Nigerian's and members of the diplomatic and community who travelled far and near to grace the occasion.