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Ambassador of Nigeria to Russia Steve Davies Ugbah (back) speaks with Nigerians in front of Nigerian embassy in Moscow on July 13, 2918. / AFP PHOTO / Vasily MAXIMOV

Nigerian Government has appealed to its citizens in the diaspora to return home and help build the Nigeria of everybody’s dream.

Nigeria's Minister of Science and Technology Ogbonnaya Onu who made the appeal at a series of town hall meetings with Nigerians in the U.S. assured them things were changing positively in the country.

“Please we want you to return home, it is important. Not everybody will return but some can start coming home, and that’s the essence.” Onu said.

"We are telling you that things are changing in Nigeria, this is the message, that’s why I’m here. I heard all the complaints – people will do this and nobody responds and all that and so on. Yes, these are things that happened in the past and we can’t correct these things just overnight,"

“This is the truth, there is no way you can make these changes and then make the corrections and all that overnight. But the important thing is that there is a change”.

According to him, there are many Bill Gates in Nigeria, adding, we need to give you the opportunities and we are giving these opportunities.

Onu appealed to the Nigerians to make patriotic decisions about their country, saying “we can’t all be waiting until everything is okay in Nigeria before we can return home."

He said further: “If there were pioneers that built America, there must be pioneers to build Nigeria. Please, I beg you, let us not wait until everything is ready. Somebody has to get it ready,"

“If we keep waiting until everything is ready, it may never be. We must decide that we have to look at the future of our children and grandchildren.

He urged Nigerians to look beyond today but "to think of the future. We have to think of the greatness of our nation."

Onu who sensitised Nigerians in diaspora on the Presidential Executive Order signed by president Buhari in February to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components said things were getting better.

”Things are changing in our country, and if all of us can walk together, if we can do that, then we can now build a great nation that all of us would be proud of.

”This is the message and I believe that this is also your intentions that our nation will be a great nation. Please, you should never have any doubt about the future of our country.

“We have some of the most intelligent people in the world. I can tell you this because I know those Nigerians who have done so well in the best universities, in the best research centres in the world.”

He expressed optimism the executive order will bring increase in finances for Nigeria and Nigerians, create jobs, fight poverty and increase the middle class in the nation.

Onu thanked Nigerians in diasporas for their remittances estimated at 22 billion dollars yearly, saying it is a major contribution for our nation “but we want you to return home”.



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