President Bola Tinubu urged Nigerians in the U.S. to overcome failure and adopt a positive attitude for success in all their life pursuits.
He gave this advice at the Presidential Townhall Meeting with Nigerians living abroad, which was held on Wednesday in New York on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Townhall Meeting was an initiative of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) to engage with the Nigerian diaspora community.
“I want to give you a measure that will resonate with you. I was once a diaspora. What you have been through, I have been through it. Change of mind set 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, 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,’’ he said.
The president, however, expressed delight in the conduct of Nigerians who have continued to excel in their chosen fields in their host country.
“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.
Tinubu praised the initiatives to address the challenges of out-of-school children, the health programme, and the poverty eradication agenda. He said Nigeria had many blessings as a country.
Tinubu 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 but if I didn’t thrown myself into it with strong determination and result, I wouldn’t have won.
“There were so many hurdles on my way that would have stopped me. I refused to be stopped, you can do the same as many of you here that are contesting elections.”
In addition, he urged the Nigerians to embrace one another, urging that there should not be no sentiment and discrimination among them.
Tinubu said: “You ought to embrace one another. No labeling, no identity, you should remove ethnic identify that tend to differentiate us.
The president met some Nigerians who are doing well in their chosen fields in the U.S., as introduced by the Chairperson of NiDCOM, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
They expressed their admiration for the president’s leadership courage and assured him of their support for his reform agenda.
They also pledged to keep making Nigeria proud in their host country and to contribute to the development of their home country.
One of them, Oye Owolewa, who is the first Nigerian-American elected into the United States Congress, representing Washington DC, said that black people accounted for 25 per cent of business orders in the U.S. but only 1.7 per cent of federal contracts.
He said they have been helping people to access such opportunities for their economic empowerment.
“In my office, we do the talk, we teach our people how to get contract, we teach our people how to get grants.,’’ he said.
The meeting was graced by several dignitaries, including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Yusuf Tuggar; Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola and the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Amb.Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to the United States, Amb. Uzoma Emenike; Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija; and Consul General in Atlanta, Amb. Amina Samaila were also present.
Some governors, such as Gov. Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom; Gov. Uba Sani of Kaduna State and Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq of Kwara, also attended the meeting.