President Bola Tinubu has called on Nigerians to harness the country’s rich diversity as a uniquely powerful tool for advancing prosperity and national development for the benefit of all citizens, emphasizing that our diversity must be leveraged to drive economic growth, innovation, and social progress.
He shared his conviction with Nigerians during an interaction with them on Thursday evening on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in India.
“We are here to present a new future to you. A future of a country that is so rich, endowed, and highly populated. Very dynamic, unique in its culture, tradition, and ethnicity. That is what will make our prosperity possible, if only we can make use of our diversity for prosperity,” he implored.
President Tinubu also told the meeting that he ran for the highest office in the country because of the fact that, despite the great human and natural resource wealth of the nation, the leadership and public sector management deficit in the country held Nigeria back from manifest destiny.
“We are not poor in knowledge. We are not poor in human resources. We are only poor in management and leadership, and that is why I ran for president, to help all of us mould the soul of our country in the right direction,” the President said.
Reflecting on the trajectory of his life, which prepared him for leadership, the President told the meeting that was attended by several Nigerian students studying in India, that with dedication, honesty, determination, and a change of mindset, they can reach for the top in their respective careers.
“Good education brought me here and I am happy to stand before you here as the President of Nigeria. I started small. I was a security guard. I was tutor in school. I was a brilliant student. I joined Deloitte and was trained by one of the biggest accounting firms in the world, because of my education,” the President recollected.
“When I joined them, I asked them, do you have branches in Nigeria and they said, ‘we have a lot of clients that will take you, if you want to go home.’ That’s how I got to Exxon Mobil and was a very successful accountant, auditor-general, and treasurer, until I joined politics with a can-do attitude.
“You can also do it; do not be despondent in any way. Nigeria is ready to accommodate all. It does not matter which part of Nigeria you are from,” the President exclaimed.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, while addressing the students, explained that President Tinubu’s foreign policy thrust included four Ds, with one of them being Diaspora, which focuses on improving the quality of services that Nigerians in the Diaspora receive at Nigerian Missions abroad.
“The issue of passport delays will be a thing of the past. You won’t have to wait indefinitely for your passports to be ready. Secondly, you are the first point of contact between Nigerians and other countries. We can’t grow beyond what our people project. That is why it is very important for you to project a consistently positive image of Nigeria online and off-line,” Nigeria’s Chief Diplomat said.
Earlier, business magnate, Mr. Tony Elumelu, told pressmen that Nigeria was the best place to invest and that a bet on Nigerians is one of the best bets anyone can ever make, citing Nigerian success in all countries of the world.
“We believe in Africa, but especially in Nigeria. An investment in Nigeria promises a return that is scarcely found anywhere in the world and I do business across several continents,” he said, according to a statement issued by presidential spokesman, Ajuri Ngelale.