PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has praised the Nigerian community in Japan saying they are exemplary ambassadors of the country pointing out that the few diasporans indulging in criminal activities do not represent the values of majority of the people of the country.
Currently in Japan attending the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development, President Buhari met with the Nigerian community in Yokohama yesterday. He used to the occasion to warn that his administration will not condone any crime either at home or abroad from criminal Nigerians.
Speaking in response to recent developments whereby the US has named 77 Nigerians involved in fraud and Indonesia has just executed 11 Nigerian drug dealers, President Buhari said such bad eggs only represent a minority of the population. Describing the majority of the over 17m Nigerians in diaspora as the face of Nigeria globally and our ambassadors for good, President Buhari said they are worthy of emulation.
President Buhari added: “Let me also say that there are few Nigerians in the diaspora that are giving us a bad name by engaging in criminal activities. These Nigerians are a minority, they do not represent the values of our country and I plead with them to change their ways.
“We will not condone any crime whether at home or abroad and we will also not allow these Nigerians define us as a people with reputation for criminality. I am personally very happy that there are millions of Nigerians all over the world, like you here, who are truly making us proud.
“Many of our diasporans, like your good selves here today, have excelled in varying fields of endeavour, both professionally and individually and you have also made significant and overwhelmingly positive contributions to your Nigerian and international host communities. You have continually been a positive bridge between Nigeria and the world, it is not an easy feat so we commend you, salute your courage and efforts.”
Commending many of them who are already positively impacting the Nigerian economy through financial home remittances, promoting international trade in Nigerian commodities, music, culture, tourism, sports, and education, while also helping to establish industries in Nigeria, the president urged them to encourage legitimate Japanese entrepreneurs to come and invest in Nigeria. Explaining the rationale for his regular meetings with Nigerians abroad and the establishment of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, President Buhari said he hopes diasporans serve as a link between Nigeria and the rest of the world.
Noting that Japan is at the cutting edge of technology and efficiency, two very important attributes that can play a role in Nigeria and improve our capacity for development, President Buhari urged members of his audience to continue to contribute their quota by helping to develop their host country and Nigeria as well. He added that his government has put in place the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan to put the country on a path of sustained recovery and growth.
Engineer Ochade Osakwe, the chairman, Nigeria/Japan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, recounted businesses that have been attracted to Nigeria in recent times, promising to do more, as the security and investment climate back home improves. Nnaji Fintan, the president of the Nigerian Union in Japan, asked for more government action in the areas of education, quality infrastructure and security.