President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday endorsed the establishment of the Nigerian Diaspora Investment Trust Fund (NDITF), a private sector investment window for Nigerians in the Diaspora to support direct investments in the country.
According to the president’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina, Mr Buhari announced the endorsement at the presentation of a compendium titled ‘+600 Diaspora Icons @ 60’, published by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM).
Pledging his support for the new initiative, Mr Buhari noted that the foreign exchange remittances by Nigerians in the Diaspora have not only helped families but enhanced the development index of Nigeria.
‘‘Rebuilding Nigeria is not the responsibility of Nigerians who live at home alone but of every Nigerian irrespective of the place of domicile,’’ Mr Adesina, in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, quoted Mr Buhari as saying.
The president described the 327-page compendium as a historical record of the worth of Nigerians globally. He added that the list in the publication is a reminder of what Nigerians are capable of doing to the delight of the global community.
‘‘Irrespective of the few bad eggs among us, and every nation has such bad eggs, Nigeria remains a great country, populated by great people, living at home or abroad, making us proud.
‘‘This compendium attests to that fact and the names of people and the fields they have excelled speak about their resilience and how exceptional Nigerians, both at home and abroad, have become.’’
According to Ms Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who leads the Diaspora Commission, “the compendium is birthed out of the necessity to recognise, celebrate and showcase Nigerians in the Diaspora who are doing great things in their host countries and also contributing to the socio-economic development of Nigeria.’’
She said the commission plans to publish the compendium at regular intervals, towards changing the negative stereotypes typified by the activities of a few Nigerians who do not represent the country well.
Reminding Nigerians of their duty to celebrate fellow Nigerians who are excelling in different paths, Mr Buhari said, ‘‘No one else will do so for us.
“Rather, other people will tend to capitalise on the few bad eggs and characterise us in their own narratives, narratives that seek to characterise us in bad light. We must not allow that to happen.
‘‘As we launch the compendium of excellent Nigerians today, we are also celebrating some of our best, nationally and globally.
‘‘I call on every Nigerian, irrespective of where they may be, to continue to be of exemplary behaviour and with determination to offer quality services that contribute to the progress of humanity.’’
He congratulated those whose names made it to this first edition, encouraging others to work more conscientiously to make the list in the subsequent editions.
‘‘Nigerians in the Diaspora are our Ambassadors-at-large by their character, comportment and daily actions.
‘‘They should be the best and excel in all their endeavours and they should ‘give back’ by contributing to the development of Nigeria,” the president added.
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