The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa has declared that Nigerians are not as bad as they are being portrayed across the world.
This is coming following portrayed bad image, unimaginable degradations and sundry assaults usually faced by Nigerians outside the shores of Africa.
Dabiri-Erewa, the politician and former member of the House of Representatives stated this weekend at the launching of Akure Primerose Club, held at the International Culture and Event Centre (The Dome), in Akure the Ondo State capital.
Her words: “One of the biggest problems we have in Nigeria is our image. We are not as bad as we are portrayed and we have to do something about it. Communication is the key. What are we communicating? What are we saying about ourselves to the world? This is very important”.
She called on Nigerians to always talk well to the world about Nigeria, and what they do as Nigerians.
“We are not a country of fraudsters or drug dealers. We are good people. We are precious, determined, hardworking, passionate, and excellent about what we do as Nigerians. That is who we are as Nigerians and most importantly that is what you are as an Akure indigene. I look forward to working with you. And by the next time we are meeting, we will have a female version of your group. I will be glad to attend more of your programme and project.
“I want to, particularly thank my diaspora brothers. What you are doing is what everybody should be doing. Getting those in the diaspora to come back home and see what they can do to improve the situation of their various communities. I am proud of what you are doing here today and I am happy to be with you for this programme. We are urging others to follow your footsteps in doing what you are doing here today.
According to the NiDCOM Chairman, “the idea is that we can not do it alone. If Nigerians at home are working with those in the diaspora, we will build a better society. You can imagine what you are doing in Akure here. I want to come back by next year to come to see the impact you have made which I believe that you will make. I promised to be your number one broadcaster and I will broadcast to the world what you are doing in Ondo state, particularly in Akure”, she said.
On her part, the Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs Bamidele Ademola Olateju said the state has been working hard to ensure that the country attains its potential.
“In Ondo state, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is putting a lot into place. We are one of the two states that have a ministry for the diaspora. I was there before, so I know. We are trying to put together a diaspora bond that you can subscribe to. We are trying to build that intersection entity so that there is trust between you and us and whoever is giving service so that you can invest your money sensibly. It is okay to give money to your family but how do you invest in the country of your birth? How do you get returns for your money apart from the money you give to family members? I need you to look at that.
“Presently in Ondo State, we have health insurance. If you have aged parents in Nigeria, you must rest assured that their health will be catered to by competent hospitals here in Nigeria if you subscribe to that health insurance. We have a ministry of mines and energy, we have those working solar aspect, and we are caregivers who can help to take care of your aged parents here in Ondo State”, she stressed.
According to the commissioner, “What you usually hear about Nigeria that the country is not safe, useless or Nigeria is a bad country, we are not painting a rosy picture here, but we are saying Nigeria will be great and attain greatness. We are saying we are working hard to ensure that the country attains its potential.
“As a diaspora, you left this country with the best education. What made it possible then was that there was equal access to education. Now it is no longer possible in public schools, not in private schools, although the narrative is changing. For to have taken these students from public schools in Ondo State you are doing us a huge favour, you are giving back to society. Because you remember us, God will remember you too.
“I want to challenge you that here, is what you can achieve, you cannot achieve anywhere if you invest here. We have a lot of what you can invest in Ondo state. Please, come home and invest. By investing, you will be given back to Ondo State and Nigeria”, Olateju added
Meanwhile, the club gave scholarship to three best secondary school students in the state. They are: Boboye Kehinde Moses of Aquinas College, David Oreyemi Antonia of St. Louis College and Amire Oluwaferanmi of Aquinas College.
Present at the event include the Deji of Akure Kingdom, Oba Aladetoyinbo Oguniade Aladelusi, Odundun Il.
Highligt of the club’s lunch include a visit to motherless babies home, visit to the Deji of Akure’s Palace, lecture, and schorlarship award.