Buhari salutes Nigerians excelling in diaspora 

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President Muhammadu Buhari has commended Nigerians living in the US for the exemplary roles they are playing in their different fields of endeavour.

He urged them to continue on that track to earn the respect of their hosts.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s media aide in a statement, said the president gave the commendation on Saturday in New York at a town hall meeting with Nigerians residing in that city.

President Buhari said: “It is gratifying for me to note that many Nigerians in the USA have continued to excel in their careers leading to some being appointed into the cabinet of His Excellency, President Joe Biden.

“Similarly, many have been elected and appointed into various responsible and competitive positions in the United States of America.

“I congratulate those who have brought honours and pride to our country.

“I thank and commend them for their respective successes as I equally urge them to demonstrate the highest sense of responsibility in order that they continue to remain reference points of excellence as they serve humankind in this country.

“As always, I wish to emphasise the absolute necessity for each and every one of you to continue to remain law-abiding as you live in the United States of America.”

He implored them to be good ambassadors of Nigeria.

In order to earn yourselves collective self-respect within the communities you live in, you must live with one another peacefully and continue to do so without sub-divisions amongst yourselves.

“As you may know, as a people, we shall always be stronger together,” he added.

The president said the administration created the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission to serve as a bridge between them and the country in the developmental agenda with the expectation that they would give back to the country.

“As our Diaspora Ambassadors, we expect your willingness to ‘give back to Nigeria some of your resources, talents, skills and global exposure in the development of our great country, Nigeria,” he said.

He gave assurances that the government would continue to act in their interests whenever the need arises, citing recent evacuations in Libya, South Africa and recently Ukraine.

He added that he had also approved the same in the United Arab Emirates and India.

The president commended them for Diaspora remittances which stood at 20 billion dollars in 2021, an amount four times the Foreign Direct Investment in the same period.

He also noted their investments in various sectors of the Nigerian economy such as healthcare, agriculture, education, information and communication technology (ICT), housing and real estate, transportation and oil and gas.

The president lauded Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chair of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission for her innovative programmes to bring the ambassadors closer home such as the Diaspora Registration Portal, the Diaspora Mortgage Scheme and the Nigerian Diaspora Investment Trust (NDIT).

Buhari reiterated the administration’s commitment to free, fair and transparent elections in 2023.

According to him, this is the only way Nigeria can continue to “set the right example for the rest of Africa and hopefully stop the recourse to unconstitutional changes of governments in our sub-region and the rest of the African Continent.”

Abeeb Atanda

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