Nigerian envoys in New York have appealed to Nigerians in the U.S. not to give up on their country but continue to support efforts by leaders to develop it.
Nigeria’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Samson Itegboje, Acting Consul-General in New York, Tanko Suleiman and Minister, Economic and Investment, Nicholas Ella, gave the advice.
They spoke at a Town Hall organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation USA to sensitise the Nigerian community about the homeland.
Itegboje said the town hall was taking place at a time of a national rebirth where all hands must be on deck to bring about a new Nigeria.
The ambassador noted some of the challenges plaguing the country before now but said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had made giant strides in overcoming the overwhelming challenges.
The Nigerian envoy challenged those in diaspora to be involved in the country’s affairs saying “this is the time to latch into the Nigerian space. It is big enough to accommodate everybody”.
He said: “Now is the time to say that if our voices must be heard, then we need to invest into governance and contribute our quota to the development of our country.
“We must all now join hands towards attaining a height where national interest must be exalted far and above personal, ethnic, religious and regional interests.
“You must leave your comfort zones and go on a search for a new formidable national identity. We must demarcate between the Nigeria we have and the Nigeria we desperately need.
“And we must work assiduously towards the establishment of a glorious nation where men and women are not judged by tribe, religion or geographical locations.”
Similarly, the Consul-General, in his remarks, tasked NIDO on the need for Nigerians to be united within and outside the country and to put national interest above ethnic, religious and sentiments.
Suleiman also stressed the need for data of Nigerians in the Diaspora so as to easily make the records of accomplished Nigerians available for service to their fatherland.
The envoy said the Federal Government was very interested in the expertise of those in Diasporas and had, therefore, established the Diaspora Commission.
He urged them to take advantage of the Commission, saying the Federal Government would not have appointed a Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters if it was not interested in Diaspora affairs.
Suleiman said many of the challenges inherited by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration were being surmounted adding that in the next few years, much of the efforts would have yielded fruits.
The Minister, Economic/Investment, in his address, urged Nigerians who encountered investment challenges when they travelled home to come through the Consulate so as to ease their doing business.
Ella urged NIDO to reach out to Nigerians wherever they are, adding that the Consulate was now better equipped to facilitate investment opportunities through the relevant government contacts.