President Muhammadu Buhari says he is impressed by the quality of Nigerians he sees both at home and whenever he travels abroad.
Buhari said this on Monday in The Hague, Netherlands, where he currently is on an official visit.
“Today in The Hague, I met with a group of Nigerians in the diaspora, led by Mr Julius Nwankpa,” the President said in a personal message he posted on his social media accounts.
“Everywhere I travel to, around the world, I’m impressed by the quality of Nigerians I see. At home and abroad, Nigerians are exceptional, high-achieving people. The delegation presented me with an artwork, titled LIGHT, by a Nigerian artist called Toyin Loyo, who was also on the delegation.”
A subsequent release by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, said those were the words of the President when he met with members of Nigerians in Diaspora Organization (NIDO), the Netherlands Chapter on Monday.
Among those who met President Buhari were Julius Nnamdi Nwankpa, Chairman NIDO; Dr. Mustapha Gidado, a specialist in tuberculosis, having oversight over management of the disease in 22 countries; Lola Visser Mabogunje, a performance monitoring expert; Dr. Peter Ngene, a research scientist and Assistant Professor at Utrecht University; Engineer Cornelius Obot, a software expert, and Toyin Loyo, an artist and culture enthusiast of international repute.
The delegation presented the gift of an artwork called ‘Light to President Buhari’, with Toyin Loyo, the creator of the work, saying: “The work is illuminating. You bring light, which will never go out, and which will shine round the clock.”
Buhari’s latest view of Nigerians contrasts sharply to his statement in the UK in April that many Nigerian youths just want to sit down and do nothing, banking on the notion that the country is an oil-rich nation.
Speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster on Wednesday, the President had said: “About the economy, we have a very young population, our population is estimated conservatively to be 180 million. This is a very conservative one.
“More than 60 percent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free.”