AN AMAZING SPEECH BY THE CHAIRMAN OF NIGERIANS IN THE DIASPORA , EUROPE – HON KENNETH GBANDI (A LEGACY TO BE REMEMBERED)

NIDOE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) NOVEMBER AT VIENNA, AUSTRIA

H.E. Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Fr. President & Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

H.E. Chief (Dr.) Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR, Fr. President & Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Initiator, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation

H.E. Amb. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Germany

Ambassador Dr Diana Kenoly, United Nations Ambassador, Global Leadership Strategist and Executive Director at The JOHN MAXWELL TEAM

Ambassador Dr Ada JUNI Okika, Executive Director Center for SDG Global Education USA, The United Nations

H.E. Amb. Joseph Ayalogu (Fr. Permanent Rep. of Nigeria to the UN in Geneva

Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe, Chairperson House Committee on Diaspora

Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM)

Andrew S. Nevin, Ph.D., Partner & Chief Economist PwC Nigeria’s, our special keynote speaker

And all our Distinguished presenters and panellist

I also wish to specially acknowledge

Dr. RosaLyn Dressman, Chairman NIDOE-Germany

Distinguished NIDO Europe CEC members

Distinguished NIDO Europe Board of Trustees members

Distinguished NIDO Europe Chapter Chairs and Advisory Board members

Distinguished members of the international business community and friends of Nigeria

Distinguished NIDO Europe members and compatriots

On behalf of the Board of directors and the entire members of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE), I am humbled to officially welcome you to the Day 2 and the opening ceremony of NIDOE Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2020.

We are most grateful to God Almighty for the safe arrival of all delegates who were able to make it to Dortmund, and thank God also for the safety of all members and compatriots joining us from the 5 continents of the world.

Every year, for the past 20 years, members of NIDOE gather for the statutory annual general meeting. This year´s AGM is an exceptional one. A hybrid of virtual participation and physical presence at the Event centre in Dortmund, Germany, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Organizing an AGM in a Global pandemic has been no doubt very challenging and I thank all members of this great organization, especially the organizing committee for an excellent job. Despite the Pandemic the interest and exactment is in no way diminished.

As a matter of fact, with the opportunity of winning former presidents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Distinguished House Chair on Diaspora matters of Nigerian National assembly and partners from UN, African Union and business partners and policymakers, the crisis of the pandemic  is indeed a BLESSING to NIDO Europe  which  further brings us closer in our goal search for homeland development.

According to the icons of NIDO Europe, they are all in agreements that “When the history of the current leadership of NIDO Europe is finally written, one of the items on the positive side of its ledger will be our success in rejigging Diaspora interest, not only in NIDO Europe´s   Annual General Meetings but also the Global Diaspora leadership of NIDO Europe in addressing critical national issues in search of Homeland developments.

As most of us already know, this will be my last AGM as the Chairman of NIDO Europe: It has been a challenging but exciting 4 years in the service of NIDO, the Diaspora and my father’s land Nigeria. In the last 4 years NIDOE grew from about 13 chapters to over 22 active chapters, doubling chapters and membership in just 4 years. We initiated a Diaspora Housing Project that is currently on its final approval stage that will deliver a minimum of 650,000 affordable housing units in 10-years and Create over 300,000 additional jobs every year especially for Nigerian Youths among other social-economic benefits for Nigeria and the diaspora.

We initiated a Youth Capacity building program that will empower the youths to access 10 Million CBN AGSMEIS loan scheme, and we planned to sustain it with the Diaspora Educational raffle program. We opened the European Nigerian business and investment citizens space for bilateral and multilateral investment opportunities and established NIDOE Abuja office for business and investment facilitation. We expanded our cooperation with ICPC for safe investment for the Diaspora and out partners and also established Diaspora desk at Nigerian Immigration to support Diaspora consular issues for Nigerians in Diaspora and our business partners.

We are currently partnering with BIOSEC, NIMC accredited vendor for Diaspora registration into the National database. In collaboration with Sub Sahara open University, we have initiated Youth Business training and we are also collaborating with them to confront the Covid-19 with NIDSAFE Covid-19 initiative, among others.

The task before us in this AGM is to further evaluate a structured effective and efficient diaspora involvement and participation in the growth and development of Nigeria both at State and Federal level. The conference will continue to look objectively at the development challenges in Nigeria, especially the youths unemployment situation in Nigeria and seek the needed Diaspora intervention in areas of viable partnerships, knowledge and experience, training and transfer of skills, finance and mentorship within the pool of diaspora professional resources globally.

The conference must give their full support for the constitution of Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) in accordance with NIDICOM Act, strong advocacy for the realisation of Diaspora Voting Rights by 2023 and good governance in Nigeria. The Conference must look critically at the ENDSARS movements and its implications for Homeland development and stand shoulder to shoulder with the Nigerian Youth.

Finally, I am extremely grateful to my family that provided me with the family love and support these 4 years enabling, me to offer my humble services to the Diaspora and Nigeria. I thank all my friends and loved ones and the entire NIDOE members for the privilege to serve. I wish all of us a great celebration.

Long Live NIDO Europe

Long Live the Diaspora

Long Live the Federal Republic of NIGERIA

About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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