NIDCOM WARNS MDAs, EMBASSIES, TO BE WARY OF PHONEY DIASPORA GROUPS ABUJA, JAN. 2, 2024: The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has warned all government Ministries , Agencies, Embassies and High Commissions as well as Diaspora groups to beware of phoney diaspora groups with apparent sinister and political ulterior motives, parading as authentic diaspora group. A statement by the Director of Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit of NIDCOM, Abdur-Rahman Balogun on Tuesday in Abuja specifically mentioned a group, Nigeria Diaspora Forum, (NDF) who claimed it has established an office in Abuja for the welfare of Nigerians in the Diaspora. The so-called Forum, an arm of Labour Party, masquerading as a diaspora group , is not even registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. We are aware that all registered Political parties including the ruling party, APC, PDP, SDP, NNPP and even LP, etc have diaspora chapters and support groups outside the country and do work to promote and champion their party ideals. It is equally sinister that an unregistered body with the Corporate Affairs Commission will fraudulently and boldly announce the setting up of an office to oversee the welfare of Nigerians in Diaspora in Abuja. This is no doubt an attempt to fraudulently hoodwink unsuspecting members of the public , ministries, departments and agencies, embassies, high commissions as well as state and local governments. We hereby advise all government agencies at both the federal and state levels as well as the diplomatic community to always double check with NIDCOM the status of such groups as NIDCOM has a data base of all registered diaspora groups. NIDCOM is using this opportunity to also remind all that States have diaspora focal persons who are readily available to handle issues relating to their diaspora. NIDCOM is the only Commission mandated by an act of the Parliament to oversee the welfare of Nigerians in the diaspora, in the last four years. It has been, and will continue to fulfill its mandate, while also working with genuine Nigerian diaspora groups,associations and individuals.

By Olushola Okunlade

For the umpteenth time, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has issued out warning to Nigerians in the Diaspora as well as groups to be wary of some unscrupulous groups canvassing for business opportunities with it.

In an advisory message issued in Abuja by Abdur-Rahman Balogun, Director of Media and Public Relations of the Commission said that this is sequel to another group, Optiva Capital Partners Limited claiming that is targeting $5bn with the launch of a new product tagged Diaspora Investor Direct Investment, asking Nigerians abroad to send monies to them directly for investment purposes.

NIDCOM hereby warns Nigerians especially those in the diaspora to be cautious in dealing with such groups as our office is inundated with series of fraudulent activities of some of these groups, several of which are now subjects of investigations with the EFCC.

It is equally important to say here that this group is not known to the Commission and that, it is only NIDCOM in line with the Act of the Parliament (2017) and National Diaspora Policy of 2021 that has the mandate to engage with the Nigerians in the Diaspora about all the services the group highlighted is providing for the Diaspora.

For the avoidance of doubt, there is the Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit (NDIS), Nigeria Diaspora Trust Fund (NDTF), Nigeria Diaspora Housing Scheme, Diaspora Mortgage Scheme, National Diaspora Day, and Diaspora Focal Persons appointed by the State Governors to deal with issues relating to the diaspora, among several others geared towards National development.

NiDCOM has a register of diaspora groups in various parts of the world promoting investments in Nigeria but this group, (Optiva Capital Partners Limited) and its Chairman, Franklin Nechi, who recently called an elaborate press conference a few days ago, is not one of them and the product tagged Diaspora Investor Direct Investment (DIDI) is not
officially registered with the appropriate authorities and is unknown to NIDCOM.

It must be pointed out here that even NIDCOM will not ask any Diaspora groups or individuals to send money through it for any development purposes, adding that this is a red flag and cautioning Diaspora groups and individuals to watch out for such organisations.

NIDCOM will continue to do all it can to protect Nigerians in the diaspora from being victims of fraud and again calls on all Ministries, Department, Agencies, groups and individuals, embassies, etc to verify any diaspora-related activities with the Nigerians in Diaspora
Commission to avoid being scammed.


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