The newly inaugurated leadership of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, NIDO, Guangzhou chapter, has urged Nigerians resident in China to shun crime and any act capable of denting Nigeria’s image.
It also pledged to embark on enlightenment programmes aimed at reducing the crime rate among Nigerians resident in the country.
This was disclosed by the President of NIDO, Guangzhou Province, Mr. Festus Mbisiogu during his inauguration by the Nigerian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Alhaji Baba Jidda.
At the event which was attended by the Special Adviser to the President on Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, former governor of Abia State, Chief Orji Kalu, and Consul-General of Nigeria in Shanghai, Mr. Anderson Madubike among others, Mbisiogu, called on the Federal Government to convene a town hall meeting for Nigerians living in Guangzhou.
His words: “As NIDO in China is being repositioned for greater roles, I wish to appeal to the federal government to consider and assist NIDO to organise a town hall meeting in Guangzhou, South-West of China where over 20,000 Nigerians reside. Such engagement will help in reducing the high rate of crime such as drug trafficking and other illicit trade practices being committed in the province by some Nigerians. Regrettably, most of us are ignorant of Chinese laws. That is the more reason we have more than 2,000 Nigerians serving jail sentences for various offenses in Guangdong Province alone. As a result of this ugly trend in that Province, it is difficult for Nigerian passport holders to get a resident visa. Statistics have shown that Nigerian businessmen contribute 20% economic growth to Guangzhou more than any other African country.
‘’In addition, such town hall meeting will help identify Nigerians who are excelling in various spheres. For example, what gave birth to one of my company in Nigeria, Shanghai Engineering Works and Industrial Ltd is as a result of our brief meeting with the current Governor of Benue State when he was the Minister of State for Trade and Investment. I recall that at the meeting he pleaded with Nigerians in China to remit funds back home and to establish enterprises. I yielded to that clarion call. Eventually, the then Minister commissioned my first factory. I have since commenced more expansion works which are ongoing in the factory. And the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo has promised to commission my new plant. The project worth millions of dollars. If I had not yielded to such pleading, I wouldn’t have been here to recount this lesson.
I should underscore the fact that the core mandates of NIDO are to mobilize, facilitate and galvanize the human and economic resource of Nigerians in the Diaspora towards national development. I appeal to my compatriots that all hands must be on the deck now to achieve the desired industrial revolution in Nigeria.’’
On his part, Kalu, who delivered a lecture titled: “Role of the Diaspora in National Development and Bilateral Relationship,” urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to be good ambassadors of the country.
He said: “China and Nigeria have come a long way in building a strong relationship especially in the area of trade. It is important for both countries to constantly reciprocate gestures that will further strengthen the established relationships. It is imperative for the Nigerian government through its embassies, high commissions and foreign missions across the globe, to ensure that bilateral and multilateral relationships are not one-sided.”