By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has dropped an important message for Nigerians in diaspora.
He challenged them to invest their skills and talents towards the development of the nation.
Dr. Jonathan made the call on Thursday in a video message to the 2020 annual general meeting of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, Europe (NIDOE) holding in Dortmund, Germany.
The former President noted that the Diaspora have been a critical part of Nigerian development journey and as such should leverage their expertise and international connections to boost economic and industrial development of the country.
He said: “Nigerians, wherever they are, should not see themselves as foreigners in the Nigerian project. This is the time for all of us to fire up our patriotism and explore more ways of helping to build our nation.”
“This is not the time to wait until our country and its systems begin to run efficiently before you consider investing your talents and resources to its growth.
Jonathan further challenged the group and indeed all Diaspora “to continue to engage and be productively involved in what happens in our country” calling on them “to be more involved today in promoting entrepreneurship and development, especially with the birthing of the Nigeria in Diaspora Commission of this present administration.”
Jonathan expressed delight that the “forum is looking for more ways to harness the substantial diaspora remittances in order to make it more robust and more responsive to the needs of the Nigerian economy post-Covid-19.”
Speaking further he said: “We need more expertise and collaborations with international partners to enable us to set up cottage industries to add more value to Africa’s raw materials. This will enable us to strengthen our economies and provide more jobs for the teeming youth population.
“No group of our citizens stand a better chance of facilitating this collaboration more than our hardworking Diaspora. I urge them to continue to engage and be more productively involved in what happens in our country.
Jonathan, who was honoured with the Leadership Service Award, appreciated members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organization Europe for considering him worthy of the award.
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