Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, has urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to return home and “help build the nation to the level that would benefit future generations”.
Ogbonnaya Onu made the appeal during a series of town hall meetings held with Nigerians in the US.
According to NAN, the Minister was in the US to sensitise Nigerians on the presidential executive order in February by President Muhammadu Buhari, which aims to improve local content in public procurement, with components in science, engineering, technology and innovation towards achieving Nigeria’s development goals across all sectors.
Some section of the order states 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”.
Addressing the audience, Onu 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 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.”
He appealed to them to make “patriotic decisions” that would contribute to the country’s development, saying: “If there were pioneers that built America, there must be pioneers to build Nigeria. 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.”
Onu explained further that the executive order would make money for Nigeria and Nigerians; create jobs for the citizens; fight poverty, and increase the number of middle-class persons in the nation.
“This is the message and I believe that this is also your intention that our nation will be a great nation. Please, you should never have any doubt about the future of our country,” the minister stated