President Muhammadu Buhari says he is happy with how Nigerian youths are excelling at home and abroad.
Buhari spoke at a town hall meeting with Nigerians on the sidelines of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda, on Saturday.
According to a statement by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, Buhari said Nigeria will welcome inputs and investments from compatriots with international exposure for the economy to thrive.
“It gives me great pleasure to be in Kigali, Rwanda and to meet with you, members of the Nigerian Diaspora as part of my regular meetings with Nigerians wherever I visit other countries,” Buhari was quoted as saying.
“Let me begin by congratulating and commending Yewande Adebowale for emerging as one of the top four winners at the Commonwealth youth competition at the Kigali Startup Festival 2022 at the Commonwealth Youth Forum.
“I also commend Esther Olanrewaju and Favour Aderinto who are recipients of the Lakshmi Subramanian CMU-Africa Student Excellence Awards for Masters in Information Technology and Electrical and Computer Engineering.
“I am proud of you all, and I remain ever proud of our Nigerian youths excelling at home and abroad.”
The president commended the level of professionalism of Nigerians living in Rwanda and the amiable nature of their interactions with each other.
According to him, living peacefully and in obedience to the laws of the host nation is also paramount as it gives Nigeria a good name.
“Remember that you are our ambassadors-at-large while here. People would read and know Nigeria by your actions and activities,” he said.
“Our government is determined to work with Nigerians both at home and abroad to develop our economy and create a nation that is productive, peaceful, and caters for the needs of its citizens.
“We are also working assiduously to protect all Nigerians, whether at home or abroad, to feel safe and attain their full potentials in life.”
Buhari noted that with the establishment of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Nigerians abroad can seamlessly contribute their quota to national development, especially in the areas of investments in the economy.
“Our agriculture, housing and real estate, ICT, healthcare, education and services sectors among others are waiting for your inputs and investments, considering your global exposure,” he added.
“Let me urge you to key into the programmes of NIDCOM to make your contributions.”
On her part, Aishatu Musa, Nigerian high commissioner to Rwanda, told the president that Nigerians in the country were generally well behaved, and their population had swelled in recent years.
“They are in various fields like banking, agriculture, education, telecommunications, and others,” she added.
While speaking at a Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster, UK in 2018, Buhari had said most Nigerian youth just want to sit down, do nothing and get their basic needs free.
The president’s statement had sparked backlash on social media.
The hashtag #LazyNigerianYouth trended during that period, with the youth showcasing their skills and expertise.