Hon. Kenneth Gbandi is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of African Heritage, the current president of NIDO Germany and presently vying to become the Chairman of the Nigerians Diaspora Organization. He is not a man hungry for power but he is in demand because of his record of successes within the Diaspora community in Europe. In this write up, we make him to speak for himself, what is plans are for NIDIO Europe and he was not shy of words.
Read his plan for Nigerians in the Diaspora and why you have to vote him in.
Read along please:
A manifesto of a new stewardship in NIDOE: Why & how I wish to lead as Chairman of Nigerians in the European Diaspora
Repositioning the Diaspora: Putting the right processes in place helps to ensure that projects succeed. Diaspora engagement should equate with being in a service-driven role; an important life-wire, supplying economic and development lifeline to Nigeria. Viewed from this perspective, the focus of my stewardship is to position NIDOE as facilitators to the local developmental agenda of the Federal Government but mainly driven through the smaller entities like the Local and State Governments from the Diaspora standpoint. In this regards a plan to raise half a million Euro within the first one year is already in place. With that NIDO can conveniently execute crucial pilot projects in Nigeria. NIDOE should be self-sufficient and independent in carrying out its projects. We have lacked this aspect for far too long.
My exciting Moments Experience with NIDO
- Elected President NIDO Germany since 2013
- Member Peace and Reconciliation delegation to Nigeria High Commission UK in search of NIDOE Unity
- Member Swiss Peace and Reconciliation Committee
- Hosting of 8 NIDOE Chapter Chairs and some NIDOE Stakeholders in Munich Germany, during the NIDOE Germany AGM, in attempt to narrow our differences in the draft MeMart which eventually facilitated the adoption of the new MeMart pending ratification by the General Assembly.
What I will be bringing to NIDO Europe
As the President of NIDO Germany, I will be leveraging on the globally acclaimed know-how of Made-in-Germany approach. I have midwifed the transformation of NIDO Germany into an enviable organization both within Europe and Nigeria. I am looking to repeat the same feat as Chairman Board of Trustee of NIDOE.
MOU with ICPC: NIDO Germany signed a Memorandum of understanding (MOU) with The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to join in the fight against corruption. This MOU provides the opportunity for NIDO European community members to contribute to the fight against corruption by providing services such as training the trainers in security issues, transfer of Diaspora knowledge and provisioning of IT based solutions and best practice models. As chairman of the Board of Trustees of Nigerians in Diaspora organization I will make this one of our focal points and translate the memorandum into action.
MOU with Lead-University: We have also signed an MOU with Lead-University in Nigeria, a university under registration with Nigerian University commission NUC. The aims of Lead are to support scientific and technological research as well as business development collaborations when it is approved. The interaction with it will be a model for NIDO Europe in skills and know-how transfer in various fields. It will also form a base station for NIDO university exchange scheme between Nigerian and European students.
Business and consulting Partnership: NIDOE Germany under my leadership has signed a tentative Partnership agreement with Aulic Nigeria Limited, concessionaire of Lagos International Trade Fair Complex for the New Nigerian Export Hub (NETH) at Lagos, for export promotion. This partnership, considering the current realities, provides solution to the diversification of our economy away from overdependence on crude oil. NIDO Europe members or partners in consulting, software developments, business, processing industries and related services could key in into the opportunities this partnership will provide. Many of such partnerships in the areas of Agriculture, mining IT will follow under my watch as Chairman BOT NIDOE. Effective but easy platforms will be provided for honorable stakeholders to participate in national development.
Physical Meetings: Leveraging on the model of NIDOE-Germany financed physical meetings of NIDOE Chapter Chairs which covered (transport, feeding and accommodation), I will continue and intensify such physical meetings as a sure way of building confidence and consensus, purposeful leadership based on mutual trust, respect and secured relationship. Should you entrust me to serve you, I will expand this to include BOT, Chapter Chairs and important stakeholders. As a matter of fact, May 15, 2017 has been tentatively fixed for such a summit. If I can do this at Chapter level, we can do it at European level too.
NIDO as a symbolic 37th State of Nigeria: I will pursue the policy that sees NIDO as a symbolic 37th State of Nigeria in terms of politico-structural importance to rekindle once again the Diaspora indomitable spirit through a holistic re-strategizing and repositioning of NIDOE to present the organization and the Diaspora as a well ordered and dependable group, promoting national development, business, trade & investment opportunities, providing a professional resource pool from where the Diaspora and National developmental interests could be managed in a transparent but secure, respectful but fair manner to induce growth in the areas of economic, social, academic, political, entertainment activities where our people seek to position themselves.
Consolidation: The organization needs to build a sense of urgency, not around the word reform or change but a sense of urgency for consolidation. Every little gain and progress which has been made must be guarded jealously. As chief servant in the BOT, I will pursue such implementations. These nonetheless will be preceded by wide consultations so as to be sure that everyone is carried along; at least the critical mass of NIDOE stakeholders as democracy entails. Consultation must be an ongoing process yielding an organic change within our communities while consolidating on our gains.
Sharpening the lobby tools: It is important to know that none of the efforts of Nigerians in Diaspora will germinate if our leaders, policy makers and opinion leaders at home and in Diaspora do not provide a fertile ground for these efforts. Together with the NIDOE stakeholders in Nigeria, a concerted effort must be made to provide this necessary fertile ground through intensive lobby for the creation of important enabling institutions. Top on the Diaspora list are the Diaspora Database, the Diaspora Commission and the Diaspora Voting Rights. These legislated structures or institutions will act as catalysts giving the Diaspora the impetus to coalesce further and to create new solutions for national challenges. Good news is that the architecture for these important bodies of work is already in place. I want to lead us to swiftly run them to the finishing line.
Imperatives of coherence: NIDOE is irritatingly at a dangerous threshold. There have been areas of good connections in the past that made NIDOE what it was then and what it is today. But many areas of total disconnect also exist at different levels: between the Board and the chapters, between various chapters and between NIDOE and non-NIDO members both at national, continental and intercontinental levels. There must be an immediate information offensive to bridge these gaps using all available information strategy and all available media tools. Moreover, the information offensive will help NIDOE win hundreds of professionals and resourceful people in the Diaspora who may not have had a favourable disposition towards the organization. As the CEO of the biggest African-European Network in Continental Europe with media Network both within Europe and Nigeria, I am certainly at home in this area.
Cooperation rather than competition: Crucial Diaspora affairs and items like the Diaspora Commission, Diaspora Voting Rights and Diaspora Day are matters that concern all Nigerians outside Nigeria, therefore a strategic cooperation and synergy with other Nigerian Diaspora Groups e.g., ANNID, NIDAN, CANUK is cardinal. The Diaspora of 2016 must be seen as a call to service and all hands must be on deck while NIDOE must be seen as providing the needed framework and guidance for cooperation. We must reject manipulative tendencies designed to keep us divided and fighting one another. We must accept to dance individually to the tone of our music, each in its own dancing steps and rhythm; but we must learn and accept to dance together. Together we are stronger and united.
A new leadership is urgently needed: I should say that there is much work to be done to overcome the things that set us apart. This work we must do together. Then focus on discharging our duties as Diaspora in accordance with the Charter of NIDO. Building on the experiences of our founding stakeholders both within the Diaspora and back at home, it is my utmost duty to provide the leadership needed today to make NIDOE a cornerstone of foreign and domestic policy by the Republic of Nigeria. I am certain that I can rekindle the rather dwindling indomitable Diaspora spirit and we then can pave new roads. Yes, I can unite us around a common agenda. Yes, I can get us work effectively with the private sector, governments and non-governmental organization at all levels. Yes, together we can break new grounds and we surely will! We will bring Nigeria’s developmental partners on board. It is the choice of others if they want to tell you something different, but I call upon you to retain the faith. Believe me, the work to be done is not more complicated than I have laid out before you. We can do it and I want to provide us the strategic servant-leadership as chairman, Board of Trustees to do it. For this, I humbly request your endorsement. So help us God!
About Kenneth Gbandi
I hold a Master’s Degree in Peace Research and Conflict Mediation, with focus on dialogue based solutions in stress afflicted communities, conflict mitigation, integration and the rights of demographic minorities. I have served in Hamburg Senate’s Foreigners Advisory council, representing Africa, and was later elected Chairman of the Committee on Anti-Discrimination. I currently run one of the biggest African - European Media Network in Germany & German speaking areas. I am the director of the African-German Information Center AGiC, a social business outfit responsible for one of the Federal German Government programs for recognition of migrant’s educational qualifications (Africa) and the empowerment of Nigerians and African citizens in Germany. I currently coordinate the activities for Germany & continental Europe for Nigerian Fallen Heroes project, an initiative of Nigeria Legion in partnership with the Ministry of Defence Abuja. The Project aims to rally support from Nigerian Diaspora community for our Fallen Heroes. Since 2015 I am a member of the German-Africa communication concept committee of German Foreign Affairs, Africa division, aimed at analyzing the causes of African influx into Europe, its consequences and possible solutions. I have founded and co-founded many Initiatives in Germany, including Nigerian Football Club Germany, African Football Festival Germany, Miss Africa Germany, Miss Nigeria Germany and African Living Legend Award Germany. I am also currently the Head of Media Commission, African Union African Diaspora Sixth Region (AUADS) Germany.