President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has invited Nigerians resident in the United States (U.S.) that they should bring their resources to invest in the Nigerian economy.
The President told a gathering of compatriots at a Town Hall meeting in New York that their fatherland had become home for business opportunities.
The meeting was organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) on the sidelines of the ongoing 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Tinubu also urged Nigerians eking out their living in the U.S. to rise above setbacks and adopt a new mindset that would enable them succeed in all of their endeavours.
He said: “I want to give you a measure that will resonate with you. I was once a Diasporan. What you have been through, I have been through it. Change of mindset is necessary. Take it this night that Nigeria is home for business opportunities.
“Also, anywhere you stay, there is always going to be an opportunity in it and in everything you do, there is always going to be an opportunity, if you know how to search and put your mind to it.”
The President said he was pleased with Nigerians’ exemplary conduct and how they had continued to do well in their country of residence.
He said: “You are lucky to be among those who are celebrated for good manners and behaviour and are operating in an acceptable manner.
“I’m very proud of you; I have also been a beneficiary of inspiration, determination, commitment and perseverance and that is all you need to pull through.
“But, we need you back home, Nigeria has arrived; forget the frustration of the previous years’ leaderships.”
Tinubu, who spoke on plans for out-of-school children, the healthcare programme and the need to eradicate poverty, said Nigeria was a blessed country.
The president said: “Sincerely, we don’t have any reason to be poor. We are just poor in some leadership areas. That is what I harped on during my campaign. It was a very gruesome campaign but I won the election. If I didn’t throw myself into it with strong determination and resolve, I wouldn’t have won.
“There were so many hurdles on my way that would have stopped me. I refused to be stopped. Many of you here that are contesting elections can do the same.”
He also urged them to embrace one another, stressing that there should not be sentiments and discrimination among them.
“You ought to embrace one another. No labeling, you should remove ethnic identity that tend to differentiate us. We are one single family, living in the same house, but living in different rooms.”
Setting the tone for the meeting, NiDCOM chairperson, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, introduced some Nigerians excelling in their chosen fields in the U.S. to the president.
Some of the speakers expressed their delight in the leadership courage of the president and to continue to support him in his efforts to reform Nigeria.
Oye Owolewa, who is the first Nigerian-American elected into the U.S. Congress, said 25 per cent of business owners in the U.S. were black but 1.7 per cent got federal contracts.
Owolewa, who represents Washington DC, said they have been supporting people to take advantage of such opportunities for their economic empowerment.
“Those are the opportunities to make investors biggest in New York. In my office, we do not just talk, we teach our people how to get contracts, we teach our people how to get grants,” he said.
A Nigerian-American, Olufunmilola Obe, an Inspector working in the New York Police Department (NYPD), briefed the president on her efforts to make Africa, especially Nigeria, proud in her office.
Obe was the coordinator of an African Law Enforcement Organisation, an association within the NYPD, as Vice President and the first African-ever to be promoted to the rank of an Inspector in the history of NYPD.
Zuriel Oduwole, an American education advocate and film maker, famous for her works on the advocacy for the education of girls in Africa, said notwithstanding her work – involvement in peace mediation, including that of 2015, peace mediation between Guyana and Venezuela, and in 2018, invited by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi of Egypt to help get peace there as well, she remains proudly Nigerian.
Those who accompanied the President are: Ministers Yusuf Tuggar (Foreign Affairs); Adegboyega Oyetola (Marine and Blue Economy); Nigeria Permanent Representative to the UN, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande; Nigeria’s Ambassador to the U.S.,Mrs Uzoma Emenike and her husband, Ikechi Emenike; Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Lot Egopija and Consul-General in Atlanta, Amina Samaila.
Others were: Governors Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom); Uba Sani (Kaduna) and AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq (Kwara).
Prominent Nigerians, who participated include: Healthcare Logistics Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Oje Russel; community activist/NIDO President (New York chapter) Bobby Diggi Olisa; NIDO President (New Jersey) Dr. Adeola Popoola; a youthful Artificial Intelligence (AI) guru/CHIPLAB CEO Ola Fadiran; renowned Physician and President of Nigerian American Public Affairs Committee (NAPAC), Dr. Nelson Aluya and a New York-based medical doctor, Dr. Bola Omotosho.Follow us on social media