The evil image being created around Nigerians to the outside world has been dismissed as deliberate ploy by some unscrupulous persons to destroy Nigerians in foreign land.
Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), noted that Nigerians were not as bad as portrayed across the world.
She stated this at inagural launching of Akure Primerose Club, held at the International Culture and Event Centre (The Dome), in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Saturday.
Dabiri-Erewa lamented that such false information had subjected Nigerians to unimaginable degradations and sundry assaults in foreign land.
The former member of House of Representatives said: “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 tasked Nigerians to always say good things about the nation and portray the country to the world what we do as a good bation and people.
The NiDCOM chairman emphasised that “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 programmes and projects.
“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.
“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 promise to be your number one broadcaster and I will broadcast to the world what you are doing in Ondo State, particularly in Akure.”
Moreovere, the state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs Bamidele Ademola-Olateju, in her address, disclosed that “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.
” At present, in Ondo State, we have health insurance. If you have aged parents in Nigeria, you must be 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 on solar aspect, and we are caregivers who can help to take care of your aged parents here in Ondo State.
“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 the 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 giving back to Ondo State and Nigeria.”
The Akure Primerose Club gave scholarship award to three best secondary school students in the state.
The beneficiaries are Boboye Kehinde Moses from Aquinas College, Akure, David Oreyemi Antonia from St. Louis College, Akure and Amire Oluwaferanmi from Aquinas College, Akure.
The Paramount ruler and the Deji of Akure Kingdom, Oba Aladetoyinbo Oguniade Aladelusi, Odundun Il and numerour sons andbdaughters of Akure kingdom graced the event.
The club was lunched and also visited motherless babies home and the Palace of Deji of Akure kingdom.