Migration And Diaspora Management Plan by Dr. Ifedi Okwenna


Dr. Ifedi A. Okwenna

Migration is the movement of people from one place of residence to another with the intention of settling permanently or temporarily at a new location. Ndi Anambra are known to be great migrants moving in search of opportunities to develop themselves.

One significant character of Ndi Anambra, is that wherever they find themselves they settle, make themselves comfortable, become part of the community and contribute immensely to the development of that place.

While a number of Ndi Anambra migrate legally, still some do so illegally in violation of the immigration laws of their host countries.

Wherever they may be, Ndi Anambra excel, sometimes to the envy of their hosts and other co-migrants. Based on this, they sometimes suffer from discrimination, over taxation, redundancy in professional positioning, demolition of their properties, confiscation of their investments. They are even sent to prison on trump up charges and flimsy issues etc. Those with immigration issues are thrown into prison without fair trial.

Dr Ifedi A. Okwenna
Dr Ifedi A. Okwenna

It is clear that most times our diplomatic missions are not alive to their responsibility of protecting and defending our people. Government of our State has not be asking questions and therefore are not doing much to protect and defending our people.

We are clear leaders in contributing to the huge diaspora remittances that come into Nigeria, but our State do not eventually receive much compared with other destination States and FCT, because of our inability to organize our State and integrate fully with our own people.

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Going forward, Government will begin to ask questions, care, protect and make demands of any form of harassment or injustice against our people. We must elevate the status of Ndi Anambra and make them to again be proud of their heritage, but we must also counsel and caution our people against our occasional excesses.

As part of our plan, we shall:

  1. Establish by law, the Anambra State Diaspora Commission and make it to:
    a. Be responsible for coordinating the activities of Ndi Anambra in Diaspora
    b. Document and develop a database of the Anambra citizens in the Diaspora, organized by country of residence, profession, status of employment/business, family and community of origin.
    c. Involve the Diaspora Community in Innovating and developing Anambra
    d. Track the Foreign remittances from them into Anambra State.
    e. Explore investment opportunities from Anambra Diaspora and their contacts.
  2. Establish Anambra Diaspora Offices in major countries of the world especially China, India, Malaysia, South Africa, Brazil, Ghana etc where our people are resident in great numbers. The office shall:
    a. Document Ndi Anambra living in the particular country and other countries of accreditation by the office.
    b. Serve to cater to the needs of our Anambra Diaspora in the particular country and other countries the office is accredited to cover.
    c. Provide legal assistance to our people when they are in need.
    d. Serve as Anambra Investment and Trade Promotion office to synergize trade, investment and export promotion.
    e. Serve as Anambra Cultural Tourism Promotion Office.
    f. The office shall also be available for information dissemination, a liaison office for the State and for transmission of information to Ndi Anambra living in that particular countries accredited to that office.
  3. Goverment shall track Illegal Migration to:
    a. Ensure that any Anambra citizen who desirse to travel, does so legally. This is to discourage illegal migration through strong campaign and elaborate tracking system.
    b. Track every Anambrarian, who is trapped in a foreign land as a result of
    immigration issues and find ways to assist him/her or ensure his/her safe
    return to Anambra State.
    c. Track those who have become public nuisance in foreign lands and counsel them as appropriate.
    d. Manage and rehabilitate migrants who are repatriated back from abroad after sojourning overseas.
  4. Establishment of Legal Aid Office. The Diaspora Commission shall:
    a. provide legal Assistance to any Anambra person suffering injustice, or
    immigration related issues, and who may not afford the cost of a legal counsel in his/her country of residence.
    b. Provide legal counselling to any Anambra business person who has
    corporate or business cases that may affect their investments and/or residency.
    c. Assist any Anambra Business person who wish, in preparing legal
    agreements and in executing contract agreements overseas.
  5. We shall care and protect Ndi Anambra and their investments outside our state. Government will begin to ask questions about how our people are treated anywhere they reside. We shall:
    a. Ensure that every investment of every Anambra man anywhere in
    Nigeria and overseas is captured in our database and is protected.
    b. Anambra Businessmen and investors shall be encouraged to report to
    the Anambra Government, any infraction he/she may have in his/her
    investment/trade outside Anambra State.
    c. Government shall continue to intervene and ask questions about
    every infraction on such captured investment.
    d. Initiate diplomatic contacts, compromise and encourage legal actions
    where necessary and provide all necessary support for the Anambra
    citizen in such circumstances.
  6. We will exploit all opportunities of our physical presence in any major country to promote:
    a. Trade and investment opportunities in our State
    b. Our rich culture and tourism potentials including our festivals and carnivals
    c. Our arts, museums, music and artifacts
    d. Anambra cuisines (Anambra Kitchen) and brand it with the aim of
    expanding the franchise in other countries.
    e. Become Anambra Liaison Office abroad.
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