Nigerians living and doing business in South Korea have pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to have Nigeria sign a Bilateral Labour Agreement (BLA) with their just country in order to create more job opportunities and boost foreign exchange remittances from Nigerians there.
They spoke their minds in Seoul on Thursday when they were hosted by Buhari at the end of his official trip to South Korea to attend the maiden World Bio Summit.
Speaking on behalf of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), South Korea, the president, Chiemeka Ndukwu, explained the benefits of entering a Bilateral Labour Agreement with the Republic of Korea.
According to him, it “will not just create job opportunities and increase foreign exchange remittance,” but “also ensure the transfer of technology and skills since these trainees will not just return to Nigeria with enough capital to set up factories and businesses that will employ people, they will also be returning with the skills and technology they acquired”.
He thanked Buhari for creating Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NiDCOM) and for “approving a production line for international passports which we now have here in the Republic of Korea,” adding that “this has eased the stress of going to China, Malaysia or back home for intervention”.
Other prominent NIDO members who also attended the interactive session were drawn from construction, insurance, private business sectors as well as male and female representatives of students undergoing post-graduate studies in specialized fields.
Engr. Dogara Gani who specializes in smart farming through drone technology; Ms. Hussaina Abdullahi, an IT specialist; and Dr. Kalu Ekpeghere, an assistant professor in environmental engineering at Woosong University, were among other well-established Nigerians in South Korea who also participated in the meeting coordinated by NiDCOM Chairman, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.
In his remarks, President Buhari reminded Nigerians resident in the Asian country that they are the “faces of Nigeria,” and should endeavour to project a positive image of the country through their actions, characters, conducts and general comportment.
According to President Buhari, “as law abiding citizens of our great country, I advise that you replicate the excellent Nigerian virtues by coexisting peacefully with your hosts and abide by the laws of the land.
“You must always strive to eschew any acts of lawlessness in your day-to-day activities and to take it as major responsibility to encourage other Nigerians to always remain of excellent behaviour.”
Further reminding them that “Nigeria is and will always be our only country,” he enjoined them “to always pray and work for the peace and prosperity of our beloved country. Let us desist from any acts capable of causing disaffection among our people.
“Nigerians in diaspora in many countries of the world have achieved tremendous successes through hard work, resilience and resourcefulness and I have no doubt in my mind that similar success stories will continue to be replicated amongst the Nigerian diaspora community in the Republic of South Korea.”
The Nigerian leader, who assured them that the Federal Government, through the Embassy will always strive to protect their interests by ensuring that “none of you is unjustly treated at all times,” appealed to them to “see all Nigerians as brothers and sisters irrespective of tribe and religion and collectively work to positively project the image of the country.”
On preparations for the 2023 national elections, which he said, are in active stages, the President sought for their “prayers and support to enable us transit peacefully to the next administration and deepen the democratic processes in our country,” expressing delight that the “outcomes of the last four off-season elections, have left us with great optimism for better conducted and acceptable 2023 elections.”