HARVEST OF GARLANDS AS ABIKE DABIRI-EREWA CLOCKS 60 By Abdur-Rahman Balogun Just like yesterday, the young baby birthed in far away Jos, Plateau State, on October 11, 1962 is 60 years on the planet. Sixty years of eventful and impactful life, with its fair of ups and downs. Sixty years full of praises to Almighty Allah who has been benevolent to Hon. (Dr.) Kafayat Oloruntoyin Abike Dabiri-Erewa. An indigene of Ikorodu from the famous Erogbogbo family in Lagos State, she has, right from her childhood till date, been a front-liner, a go-getter, an ice breaker, a workaholic, an amazon, a humanist per excellence, a detribalised Nigerian, a patriotic citizen and a devoted servant of Allah. I couldn’t get enough words to fully describe this ebullient woman of substance who has consistently demonstrated her efficiency and diligence right from her eventful years at NTA till her sojourn in politics which made her a three-time parliamentarian in the House of Representatives from 2003 to 2015, representing her people in Ikorodu Federal Constituency, where she played an active and impactful role in all the national assignments she was given. Her trademark diligence and dynamism was further brought to bear when she was appointed as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora Affairs from 2016 to 2019. This office later metamorphosed into the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) where she is currently serving as the pioneer Chairman/Chief Executive Officer and where she has continued to play her role diligently, effectively and inspirationally. On March 23rd, 2022, on the eve of the remarkable event at which the authorities of Lagos State University bestowed on her a Honorary Doctorate Degree during its 25th Convocation ceremony on March 24th, 2022, I wrote that the award was well-deserved and would change her nomenclature to Dr. Abike Dabiri-Erewa. It was one honour too distinctive so truly well-deserved and so uncommonly well-appreciated. All those who have been following the selfless, proactive, exemplarily motivational life of Hon. Kafayat Abike Dabiri-Erewa, would have seen that it has been rewarded and appreciated with too many awards, honours and recognition of excellence which are, in fact, too numerous to list. As at my last count, apart from those she rejected, I have counted well over 300 received since she became a public officer in 2003 to date. Almighty Allah enjoins as follows in the Glorious Qur’an, chapter 3, verse 26: “Say, ‘O Allah, Owner of Sovereignty, You give sovereignty to whom You will and You take sovereignty away from whom You will. You honor whom You will and You humble whom You will. In Your hand is [all] good. Indeed, You are over all things competent.’” This verse further confirms to me that it is only Allah that can honour us, we creatures of the Supreme Being. Irrespective of the level of effort we as human beings may make in any enterprise, the Creator must sanction such thoughts and actions must earn the divine approval to result in successful implementation. So, as a measure of Allah’s grace, another national letter of honour came to the Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, dated October 7, 2022 and signed by Sen. George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, bearing the following good news:
Hon. Dr. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, OON, Chairman NiDCOM.

The Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) Hon (Dr) Abike Dabiri-Erewa, has hailed the Nigeria Immigration Service on the step taken to ameliorate the hurdles faced by the Nigerian Diaspora on visa application issues through the establishment of more service centers.

In a press statement, the NiDCOM boss was elated on receiving the news of the establishment of additional biometric visa application centers by NIS.

She said it is indeed a welcome development going by the unpleasant situations that Nigerians living abroad face in respect of visa applications.

Dabiri-Erewa while commending NIS for this feat also implore them to look into other issues affecting Nigerian Diaspora in other areas not covered.

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) in a memo dated 16th March 2023 with ref.no NIS/HQ/CGI/909/T/21 stated that approval for the establishment of additional biometric visa application centers in twelve cities has been received from the Ministry of Interior.

The cities are:
1. Berlin- Germany,
2. Nairobi- Kenya.
3. Ottawa- Canada.
4. Vienna- Austria
5. Stockholm- Sweden.
6. Brussels- Belgium
7. Bern- Switzerland
8. Dublin- Ireland
9. Madrid- Spain
10. Cairo-. Egypt.
11. Rabat- Morocco
12. Tokyo- Japan.

The service centres will attend to Nigerians in the Diaspora that holds other countries’ passports and need Nigerian visas to visit home.

The Service Centres are also available options that will ensure submission of visa requests are done other than Nigerian Embassies thereby reducing the waiting time that visa applicants have had to go through.


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