The First Lady, Senator Oluremi Tinubu has appealed to the Nigerians in the diaspora, most especially the youth, to support the current administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to achieve its “Renewed Hope Agenda.”
Senator Tinubu made the call while speaking on Monday, at the New York 2023 Nigeria Economic Growth and Trade Summit with the theme: “Stemming Migration Flows by Providing Basic Needs.”
According to her, the Nigerian youths must have hope in the efforts of the current administration to deliver the dividends of democracy and provide for their basic needs.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the summit was organised by the Nigerian Governors’ Wives’ Forum on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
The UN stated that 26,400 Nigerian citizens requested asylum abroad in 2022, while 27,000 Nigerian citizens were recognised as refugees and granted protection in 2022, as well.
However, the First Lady advised that while migration could offer new opportunities and experiences, it also presented risks and challenges that could result in brain drain.
“The brain drain phenomenon where highly skilled individuals leave their home country for supposedly better prospects abroad, is a concern for many African nations, depriving them of their expertise and talents needed for sustainable growth.
“In our various communities, we must work towards creating conditions and providing basic needs that allow people to thrive by providing access to qualitative education, an enabling environment for job creation.
“And the development of local industries that will create viable economic opportunities.
“We must revamp our healthcare sector to ensure that basic healthcare services are accessible to all.
“Improve health care conditions and stronger social support systems that discourage migration driven by health concerns.
“The Renewed Hope Initiative is an initiative that we just started, aimed at creating a better life for families.
“Our scope covers agriculture, education, economic empowerment, health and social investment, focusing on women and the youth, who are the bedrock of the society.
“Youths account for 70 per cent of our population and women represent 49.6 per cent of the population.
“I believe that schemes which focus on empowering this demographic, coupled with an enabling environment, will gradually begin to reverse the negative trend of migration,” Mrs Tinubu said.
She however advised the wives of the governors that as first ladies, their roles as leaders were necessary to driving sustainable change within their communities.
“You must work together with government agencies to complement and support the establishment of laws that protect human rights and provide equal opportunities.
“Policy reforms that encourage skilled individuals to return home after obtaining educational experience abroad, can help reverse the dream.
“We must continue to acknowledge the good work the international agencies, well-meaning individuals in the diaspora and the private sector, are doing in our nation.
“Through a forum like this, we can encourage diaspora engagement, and establish avenues for Nigerians living abroad to contribute to the country’s development.
“Through investment, knowledge sharing, and collaborations which can help mitigate the negative effects of brain drain,’’ she stated.
Mrs Tinubu further encouraged Nigerians to promote a positive narrative, celebrate their cultural heritage, and national achievements and promote a sense of pride in Nigeria.
She however reassured that Nigeria is on the threshold of a major economic recovery of buoyancy, encouraging Nigerian youths to learn the virtues of patience and resilience as everyone continued to work collectively, to help build a greater and better Nigeria.
The governors’ wives who were in attendance included the first ladies of Oyo State, Mrs Tamunominini Makinde; Ogun, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun; Imo, Mrs Chioma Uzodinma; and Gombe, Hajiya Asma’u Yahaya.
Other governors’ wives who attended the forum were; the first Ladies of Lagos State, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu; Borno, Mrs Falmata Zulum and Kogi, Hajiya Rashidat Yahaya Bello.