News outlets claim Nigeria has copied Ghana’s successful #Yearofreturn initiative and has produced the “Door of Return” program.
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has disassociated itself from the claim with respect to the policy document in circulation. However, the Door of Return Program has been in existence since 2017.
Nigeria is being trolled by social media users in Ghana for allegedly planning its own version of Ghana’s Year of Return. This follows viral images suggesting the country intends to launch an initiative dubbed “Door of Return – Nigeria 2020” later this year.
The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), which the policy document mentions as in charge of the program, has disassociated itself from the claim. According to a disclaimer issued by the NIDCOM via its Twitter handle, the policy document in circulation is not from the agency or anyone acting on its behalf. Neither NIDCOM nor the Federal Government of Nigeria is involved in any such program.
Nigeria, however, has a Door of Return Program that has existed since 2017. NIDCOM, the Lagos State Government, the African Door of Experience and the African Renaissance Foundation are responsible for this initiative. The most recent, the 2019 edition, took place from October 15-20 in Badagry, Lagos.
NIDCOM also stated its support for other African countries adopting this initiative; further dissuading any insinuations to a competition between Ghana. It rather commended Ghana’s efforts.
The government of Ghana’s ‘Year of Return’ campaign has seen significant success having added $1.9 million to Ghana’s economy. The Ghanian President launched the campaign in September 2018 to commemorate 400 years since the first batch of Africans were abducted from their homeland.
Although a Door of Return Program has been organised by NIDCOM, the Lagos State Government, the African Door of Experience and the African Renaissance Foundation since 2017, the document in circulation is not from the agency. More so, the Door of Return Program began a year prior to the Year of Return initiative; hence, it stands to reason that the former could not be imitating the latter as insinuated by the claim- which was misled by false advertisement NIDCOM has refuted.