House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora on Thursday urged federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to play complementary roles in protecting the interests of Nigerians abroad.
Chairman of the committee, Rep. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe (APC/Oyo) gave the charge at a meeting with relevant Federal Government agencies at the National Assembly in Abuja.
Akande-Sadipe said that there were cases where Nigerians travel abroad for medical tourism only to discover years later that one of his vital organs has been stolen.
He asserted that there are also cases where human organs have been taken away from Nigeria through land and air borders without the organ traffickers being detected.
According to the House member, some Nigerians collaborate with foreigners to perpetuate organ trafficking, stating that innocent Nigerians are made to suffer inhume treatments and in some cases are killed for an offense they do not know anything about.
“All the relevant agencies are here today to see how we can put an end to this; we must set aside agency pride to protect Nigerians across the globe. This idea of agencies claiming superiority over the other has to stop,” she said.
The lawmaker recommended the establishment of legal desk in all Nigerian missions to provide services for Nigerians in Diaspora that cannot afford lawyers.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada told the House committee that the ministry wis doing its best to protect Nigerians abroad.
He said that like other citizens of the world, Nigerians were free to live and carry out their legitimate businesses anywhere across the globe in pursuit of a better life.
The minister said that though they were a few bad eggs giving the country a bad name, but added that there were many others contributing to world development.
Also, the Director General of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Ms. Julie Okah-Donli, recommended that Nigerians should be sensitized to identify with Nigerian missions in their host countries
Okah-Donli said that the country has professionals across the world and that the Nigerian missions should provide legal services free of charge whenever the need arises.
She canvassed for synergy between NAPTIP and other agencies when Nigerians are to be deported or returned to enable the agency track suspects on their list.
Other agencies at the hearing include the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Federal Ministry of Justice, Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).