The Federal Government has appealed to Nigerians in the Diaspora to return home and help build the Nigeria of everybody’s dream, assuring them that things are changing in the country.
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, made the appeal at a series of town hall meetings with Nigerians in the US, assuring that old ways are now giving way to new ways of doing business.
The minister was in the US to sensitise Nigerians abroad on the Presidential Executive Order V signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in February, to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the order is expected to promote the application of science, technology and innovation towards achieving Nigeria’s development goals across all sectors of her economy.
The president, in line with his constitutional powers, ordered that all “procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007”.
Onu thanked the diasporas for their remittances to Nigeria estimated at 22 billion dollars yearly, saying it is a major contribution for our nation “but we want you to return home”.
The minister said: “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.
“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; yes, these are things that happened in the past and we can’t correct these things overnight.
“This is the truth, there is no way you can make these changes overnight. But the important thing is that there is a change”.
Onu appealed that the Nigerians should make patriotic decisions about their country, saying “we can’t all be waiting until everything is okay in Nigeria before we can return home”
According to him, there are many Bill Gates in Nigeria, adding, we need to give you the opportunities and we are giving these opportunities.
“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.
“Let’s not look out for ourselves. We have to think of the future, we have to think of the greatness of our nation.