The President of Nigeria, Bola Tinubu, has encouraged Nigerians living in the diaspora to return to the country.
Tinubu gave the address during a Presidential Townhall Meeting organized by the Nigerians in the Diaspora Commission on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
He emphasized that the country had undergone positive changes and encouraged Nigerians outside the country to look beyond frustrations from past leadership. He also called for unity among Nigerians, stressing the importance of embracing each other without ethnic labels or discrimination, emphasizing that they are one family living in the same house.
Tinubu emphasized the importance of a change in mindset for success in all aspects of life, stating that Nigerians had no reason to be poor. He applauded the efforts to address issues such as out-of-school children, healthcare programs, and poverty eradication, highlighting Nigeria as a blessed nation.
He further urged Nigerians in the diaspora to be determined and resolute in pursuing their goals, including those contesting elections. He encouraged them to view Nigeria as a land of business opportunities, regardless of their current location, and to search for opportunities with a determined mindset.
“Anywhere you stay, there is always going to be an opportunity in, and in everything you do, there is always going to be an opportunity, if you know how to search and put your mind into it,” the president said.
The President also acknowledged the achievements of Nigerians who had excelled in various fields in their host country and expressed pride in their behavior and conduct. He shared that his own journey had been inspired by determination, commitment, and perseverance, qualities he believed were essential for success.
” You are lucky to be among those who are celebrated for good manners and behavior and are operating in an acceptable manner. I’m very proud of you; I have also been beneficial of inspiration, determination, commitment and perseverance and that is all you need to get to pull through. But, we need you back home, Nigeria has arrived; forget the frustration of the previous year’s leadership,” he said.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairperson of NiDCOM, introduced several Nigerians who were excelling in their respective fields in the U.S. to the President. They expressed their admiration for Tinubu’s leadership courage and pledged their continued support for his efforts to reform Nigeria. They vowed to make Nigeria proud in their host country and contribute to the development of their home country.
Oye Owolewa, the first Nigerian-American elected into the United States Congress, shared statistics indicating that 25 percent of business orders in the U.S. were from Black entrepreneurs, with 1.7 percent receiving federal contracts. He emphasized the importance of supporting people to seize these opportunities for economic empowerment, and his office actively worked to educate and assist individuals in obtaining contracts and grants.
A Nigerian-American Inspector working in the New York Police Department, Olufunmilola Obe, briefed the President on her efforts to represent Africa, especially Nigeria, proudly in her role. She served as the coordinator of an African Law Enforcement Organization within the NYPD and had achieved the historic rank of Inspector, the first African to do so in the history of the NYPD.
The Town Hall Meeting saw the presence of other prominent figures, including Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Adegboyega Oyetola, Minister of Marine and Blue Economy; Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN; Amb. Uzoma Emenike, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States; Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul General of Nigeria in New York; and Amb. Amina Samaila, Consul General in Atlanta. Several governors, including Gov. Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom, Gov. Uba Sani of Kaduna State, and Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq of Kwara, were also in attendance.
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