The Nigerian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Sarafa Tunji Isola, has underscored the need for Nigerians to actively promote optimistic narratives about their nation, amenting the prevailing tendency among Nigerians to be critical rather than commendatory, particularly in their perception of leaders and the nation itself.
Speaking at a business breakfast event in London, Isola highlighted the detrimental impact of this lack of patriotism on the country’s progress.
The event, facilitated by the Lead Pastor of Victory Life Bible Church International, Lawrence Achudume, in collaboration with Pomegranate Nigeria Limited, convened at the Intercontinental Hotel at 02, London.
Contrary to prevalent negative perceptions, the Nigeria High Commission extolled Nigerians as diligent, intelligent, and driven individuals.
“We are entrepreneurs, we are adventurers, so push agenda for values and tell good stories to make a difference”, he said. “I feel proud, I raise my head high anywhere in the world as a proud Nigerian.”
Isola further said : “There is that spirit called the Nigerian spirit which is resilience, hardworking and innovative, but the problem is that Nigerians don’t tell positive stories about themselves.”
The ambassador expressed his pride in being a Nigerian and urged his compatriots to similarly embrace a sense of national pride. He identified the distinctive Nigerian spirit characterized by resilience, hard work, and innovation. However, he emphasized the unfortunate trend of not portraying these attributes in positive stories.
While encouraging fellow Nigerians to believe in themselves and the nation, Isola questioned why others should be allowed to narrate their stories. He urged the responsible use of social media for constructive purposes rather than misinformation and falsehood.
In the Ambassador’s view, global diversity demands a shift from mere consumption to productive engagement. He endorsed Nigeria as a prime investment destination and an optimal environment for business ventures.
Notably, the ambassador acknowledged the importance of constructive criticism toward leaders, advocating a positive approach to nation-building. “Criticism,” he remarked, “should be constructive; it should contribute to the betterment of the nation.”
Achudume echoed Isola’s sentiments, emphasizing the responsibility of Nigerians to build their country. He discouraged reliance on Western nations for Africa’s development, citing the tendency of Western media to focus on negative portrayals.
Achudume, in his remarks, noted the influx of foreign investment into Nigeria while some Nigerians seek opportunities abroad. He urged Nigerians in the diaspora to prioritize investments over social events.
“This is the time to re-channel resources to profitable ventures. Stop thinking about what is going wrong in the nation and start thinking about what is good for the various sectors of the economy. It is time to put ideas together and contribute to nation-building; there are many opportunities waiting to build a virile nation,, he said.
Prominent figures in attendance, including the Chief Executive Officer of Pomegranate Nigeria Limited, Wole Elusakin, and the Managing Director of Wealthbridge, Ahmed Lawal, posited that entrepreneurs rule the world, noting that Nigerians abroad should surround themselves with quality people and professionals who will expose them to opportunities that can bring favorable returns from investment.
According to them, there are many opportunities to be explored in real estate, the hospitality sector, education, and transportation, among others.
The speakers commended the current administration for its openness to business partnerships and called for maximizing these opportunities to foster mutual growth.
(Edited by Oludare Mayowa; email@example.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)