By Prudence Arobani
The Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA), USA, says it has not endorsed the Nigeria Federal Credit Union proposed by the Nigeria National Association (NNA), a non-profit organisation in the U.S.
Mrs Patience Key, the Chairman of NIDOA-USA Board of Directors, said neither she nor the board was in any way associated with the NNA, a newly formed not-for-profit association.
Key, in a statement, said a press release issued by NNA dated Aug. 7 listed her as one of the association’s contact persons and as being on the board of the committee’s leadership.
“This is misleading and gave the false impression that Mrs Key has endorsed this project, either in her own capacity or as the Chair of NIDOA USA Board of Directors,” she stated.
Key also stated that she was not a member of NNA and neither did she authorise her name to be associated with the any project in view.
According to her, she deems her inferred association with the Credit Union as a conflict of interest due to the fact that she is the chairman of NIDOA USA Board of Directors.
“The idea of Nigerian Diaspora Credit Union was originally initiated by NIDOA USA and a summit was held at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC in April where a committee was inaugurated,” she said.
Key claimed that the initiative for the Credit Union was borne out of the desire for a cohesive financial agenda and progress for all of Nigerians in Diaspora under NIDOA USA.
She added that a committee was constituted to discuss and formulate the modalities and policies by which the project would be executed.
“I would at this time reaffirm my commitment to the NIDOA-USA-driven financial institution for all Nigerians in Diaspora as an individual and in my capacity as the NIDOA USA chair, ‘’ she said.
Key, however, said she would continue to encourage any laudable initiative for the advancement and progress of all Nigerians as stipulated within the constitution of NIDOA-USA.
When NAN contacted Dr Kazeem Bello, the Chairman of the steering committee of the proposed bank, he denied Key’s allegations, saying she had been part of all their meetings since April.
Bello said: “When she (Key) brought this issue up, all members of the committee expressed shock and we said NIDO is just one of the numerous Nigerian organisations in the U.S.
“We have faith-based, cultural-based; so it is joint efforts by all Nigerians and Nigerian organisations.
“ So what we’re trying to do is to bring everybody under that umbrella of the Federal Credit Union as a Nigerian.”
He said when the committee was inaugurated, it was not tied to NIDOA, adding it was not discussed in any of their (NIDOA) meetings of which he is also a member.
“We had started meetings for about two months when she asked why we were looking for an organisation’s name to use for registering the Credit Union, and that it has to be NIDOA.
“That day, as the Chairman, I said I was not personally aware it is for NIDOA. And let me tell you, I have been with NIDOA for 12 years and I’m the current President of NIDOA in New Jersey.
“I’m also representing NIDOA New York/New Jersey/Connecticut on the board where she is the Chairman. I’m the Project Director for NIDOA-USA. So she’s not more NIDOA than anyone of us,” he said.
Mr Bayo Idowu, the Minister for Economic, Trade and Investment at the Nigerian Embassy, also told NAN that NNA was just a neutral organisation that serves as a parent name for the proposed bank as required by law.