The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has signed into law, the Abia State Diaspora bill, giving birth to the Abia State Diaspora Commission, which will enhance inputs of Abians in the Diaspora; for the development of the state.
Recall that during the plenary on Monday, 22nd March, the Majority Whip and member representing Arochukwu State Constituency, Onyekwere Mike Ukoha, who sponsored the bill, announced that the law had come into effect immediately.
Today, Abia is the first state in Nigeria to pass a Diaspora Bill; the first to domesticate the Diaspora Law which is Federal legislation. There is now in place, a full-fledged legislative framework for the participation of Abians abroad in the development of Abia State.
Dr Ikpeazu, during the event, highlighted some of the interventions anchored by Diaspora Abians including Geriatric Care, training and retraining of Teachers, Medical Outreaches amongst others; commended them for supporting the building of a Specialist Pediatric Hospital in the state.
He also revealed that Abia State has just received two containers of medical supplies out of four donated by those in the Diaspora to drive the specialist hospital and congratulated Abians in the Diaspora for supporting the effort.
The Governor further announced that the Special Adviser on Diaspora Matters would henceforth serve as the Acting Executive Secretary of the Diaspora Commission and implored those in the Diaspora to continue to look homeward.
Dr Erondu had worked tirelessly with the State Assembly to ensure that the Bill was crafted, sponsored and passed.
Mrs Ngozi Ogbonna-Erondu, who is a Consultant Pharmacist based in New Jersey, United States of America; holds a PhD in Pharmacy plus several other academic and professional qualifications.
After her secondary school at Ovom Girls High School, she left for the US where she took all her degrees and has lived in the US for over forty years.
Ovom Girls High School used to be one of the best secondary schools in Aba but like most of our public institutions, things have gone bad. Indeed, the school, like several others in Aba was handed over to churches who owned them originally; Ovom went to the Aba Diocese of the Anglican Church.
A few years ago, she led her former schoolmates, the old girls of Ovom Girls High School to raise funds for the building for an ultra-modern School Hall.
Through her efforts and other Abians in the Diaspora, a Diaspora Village Project will soon commence where Abians who live abroad can get land and develop an estate; a parcel of land that lies between Umuahia South LGA and Isiala Ngwa North LGA has been acquired by the Abia State Government for this purpose.
Like Erondu, there are lots of other Abians in the Diaspora who are doing a lot for the sake of home; the Abia State Diaspora Commission, which is saddled with the responsibility of Identifying pool of professionals in diverse fields from Abia State indigenes in the Diaspora who wish to make contributions to the development of our state via policy suggestions special intervention projects, linkages to individuals and/or organizations interested in adding value to the state.
Dr Ngozi Ogbonna-Erondu, says she is driven by passion, a supportive husband and a governor who is open to progressive ideas, surely the crown fits her.
Her husband is a successful medical doctor in the US and they have four children; all of them are medical doctors with expertise in different fields of medicine.