Nigerians in the United States of America have been urged to change their negative mindset about the country and join hands and resources to help build the Nigeria of everybody’s dream.
Former Governor of Anambra Peter Obi, two senators – Ben Murray-Bruce and Shaaba Lafiaji – and motivational speaker, Fela Durotoye, made the call at the Nigerian-American Business Forum in Florida.
Others who spoke on: ‘Investing in Nigeria from the Diaspora: Challenges and Opportunities’, were the Nigerian Stock Exchange Council President, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, and Nigerian-American entrepreneur, Biodun Shobanjo.
They all challenged the diaspora to invest at home and help to build a better Nigeria of everybody’s dream.
Obi said that, “You must invest in Nigeria; we must change the mindset about Nigeria. You must bring your investment home, because we need to take back Nigeria.
“There is an opportunity in Nigeria when it comes to investment that is not anywhere in the world. Channel your investment back into the country; be part of the change at home. We have no other country to call ours, except Nigeria.”
Don’t be idle
Murray-Bruce said the diaspora could not sit idly by and watch the country run aground, adding, “you must be willing to come home, invest and fight for Nigeria to be better.
“In the coming election, Nigeria must be better – no more business as usual. Nigerians in Diaspora constitute the largest foreign direct investment to Nigeria – $22bn – while NNPC contributes $30bn.
“So, I am sponsoring a bill that you must be given the right to vote. Call your senators to support my bill. If Nigeria must be successful, you must be successful.”
Not too late
Durotoye, on his part, said it was not too late for Nigeria to get it right, saying Nigeria could still be the most desirable country to live in the next seven years – 2025.
He challenged the diaspora to be like the Diaspora Jews and Indians, who succeeded together and were able to go back to impact same in their respective countries.
“No nation in the world has been able to realise its potential without the involvement of its diaspora; Awolowo, Nkrumah, Kenyatta – were all diasporas. Don’t be escapist. As long as you want to escape, Nigeria is a ‘hole’ to you.
“Be an expert, think of what to bring back home. Invest in each other, start investing in Nigerians who are here.
“So, invest in young Nigerians at home; they are moving forward in spite of government. Search them out and mentor them.
“Nigeria was born with a wing, but just put in a cage in the past 57 years but the cage is about to be broken,” Durotoye said.
Also speaking, Ogunbanjo said the Nigerian Stock Exchange was the best-ranked stock globally in 2017 according to Bloomberg adding, Nigerian economy is on the verge of out-performing the 2017.
Lafiaji, in his speech, highlighted the investment opportunities in Kwara and Nigeria and challenged the diasporas to stop lamenting over the country but proffer workable solutions to its challenges.
Speaking in a similar vein, Shobanjo said there was absolutely no reason why the diaspora should not come and invest at home, saying the opportunities in Nigeria were vast.
“I’m imploring you, please come home and invest. The more people like you come and invest, the GDP – Gross Domestic Product – will grow and we will make Nigeria a better place,” Shobanjo said.