President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed great pleasure in the conduct of Nigerians, who have continued to excel in their chosen fields as they reside in the United States of America.
The President gave his commendation at the Presidential Townhall Meeting with Nigerians in the Diaspora on Friday, in Washington, as he rounded off his participation at the US-Africa Leaders Summit.
He assured them that the Federal Government will continue to watch their back in whichever situation they find themselves, just as he had recently given approvals for the evacuation of Nigerians, who found themselves in harm’s way in Libya, South Africa, Ukraine, UAE and India.
President Buhari added that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) was established to facilitate interactions with the “ambassadors.”
He urged them to continue to be good ambassadors of the country and live in peace among themselves and with their hosts as there can be no progress in disunity.
The President expressed delight that the representatives were giving back to Nigeria as expected of them, urging them to do more.
“It is gratifying for me to note that many Nigerians in the USA have continued to excel in their careers, leading to some persons of Nigerian origin being appointed into the cabinet of H.E. President Joe Biden.
“Similarly, many have been elected/appointed into various responsible and competitive positions in the United States of America.
“I congratulate those who have brought honour 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 in this country.
“I understand that in 2021, our diaspora home remittances through official channels stand at Twenty Billion US Dollars ($20bn), which is four times over the value of our Foreign Direct Investment.
“In addition, many of our diaspora compatriots are actively investing in our Healthcare, Agriculture, Education, Information and Communication Technology, Housing and Real Estate, Transportation, Oil and Gas, and other Services.
“I must say this is most commendable and in our enlightened collective self-interest as only Nigerians, both at home and abroad, can develop Nigeria. I am personally proud of you all,” the President was quoted in a statement issued by Garba Shehu, his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity.
President Buhari, who told the gathering that it would be the last time he would be addressing them in a town hall meeting in Washington as President, assured them that the electoral process leading to the election of a new administration was going well.
“As you all are aware, the processes for our national elections in 2023, have continued to progress smoothly and consistently with the laws of our land. I have repeatedly assured of my personal commitment, as well as of our Administration’s commitment to ensuring that the processes continue to be transparent, credible, free and fair, leading to smooth elections and transition to the next Government.
“This is the only way we can strengthen democracy in Nigeria and 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,” he declared.
In her remarks, the Chairman of NiDCOM, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, noted that the first Diaspora meeting by President Buhari was held in Washington and eulogised the President for his continued support for NiDCOM and being always ready to meet with Nigerians anytime he travelled outside the country.
Gathered in the hall were Nigerians from all walks of life including politicians especially, those voted and appointed into various positions in the last elections in the US; accomplished Medical Doctors; sportsmen/women; those in the education, aviation as well as media and entertainment sectors.
The highlight of the occasion was the felicitation with President Buhari on the occasion of his 80th birthday and the presentation of a portrait to mark the occasion by the Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Her Excellency, Uzoma Emenike.