President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that the few Nigerians abroad indulging in criminal activities do not represent the cherished values of the country.
Buhari stated this yesterday in Yokohama, Japan at a meeting with the leaders of the Nigerian community in the country on the sidelines of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7).
In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday by his special adviser on media, Mr. Femi Adesina, Buhari said: "Let me also say that there are a few Nigerians in the Diaspora that are giving us a bad name by engaging in criminal activities. These Nigerians are a minority, they do not represent the values of our country, and I plead with them to change their ways."
According to him, "we will not condone any crime whether at home or abroad, and we will also not allow these Nigerians define us as a people with the reputation for criminality."
While urging Nigerians in Japan to be good ambassadors of their fatherland, Buhari said: "I am personally very happy that there are millions of Nigerians all over the world, like you here, who are truly making us proud."
The president described the majority of the over 17 million Nigerians in Diaspora as "the face of Nigeria globally and our ambassadors for good," adding that "many of our Diasporans, like your good selves here today, have excelled in varying fields of endeavour, both professionally and individually.
"You have also made significant and overwhelmingly positive contributions to your Nigerian and international host communities. You have continually been a positive bridge between Nigeria and the world. It is not an easy feat and we commend you, salute your courage and efforts," he said.
Buhari noted that "Japan is at the cutting edge of technology and efficiency, two very important attributes that can play a role in Nigeria and improve our capacity for development."
He, therefore, urged members of his audience to continue to contribute their quota by helping to develop their host country and Nigeria as well, adding: "I look forward to your inborn gift, ability, and capacity in taking up this challenge."
The president commended those who are "positively impacting the Nigerian economy through financial home remittances, promoting international trade in Nigerian commodities, music, culture, tourism, sports, and education as well as helping to establish industries in Nigeria."
He charged them "to encourage legitimate Japanese entrepreneurs to invest in Nigeria.
"We are continually working to create the necessary enabling environment for investors to thrive, through improvement in our Ease of Doing Business practices, providing security, diversification of the economy, infrastructure and fighting corruption.
"We have put in place, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERPG) to put the country on the path of sustained recovery and growth," he said.
On his regular meetings with Nigerians abroad and the establishment of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, President Buhari said: "As you are aware, I have regularly held town hall meetings with Nigerians in the Diaspora on all my foreign engagements be it in Europe, Asia, America or Africa.
"At these fora, I have always appealed to our citizens to be our good ambassadors, observe the laws of your host countries, excel in whatever you do legitimately, and also remember us at home (Nigeria). I have established the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission specifically to engage with you, signifying a coordinated attempt by our administration to increase the involvement of our Diaspora in our national development.
"Collectively, your resources, skills, and talents will be a positive force for our country which can help accelerate our national growth and development," he said.
Buhari's meeting with Nigerians in Diaspora, which was coordinated by the chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, described the president as "the most Diaspora-friendly leader we have had in Nigeria." It was well attended by Nigerians in that country.
Prof. Ejiogu Emenike, president, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Asia (NIDOASIA) and an energy expert, commended Buhari for his efficient leadership, and disclosed that his members had "comparative advantages in human capital development, which we are trying to bring back to Nigeria.
"Any problem that science and technology can solve, we are able to, and we can help Nigeria in areas of need," he said.
The chairman, Nigeria/Japan Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Engr Ochade Osakwe, recounted the businesses that they have attracted to Nigeria in recent times and promised to do more, as the security and investment climates back home get better.
The president of Nigerian Union in Japan, Mr. Nnaji Fintan, asked for more exploits in the areas of education, quality infrastructure and security, which incidentally, are focal points of the current administration.
NIS Finally Gets Access To Interpol Database
The comptroller-general, Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Mr Muhammad Babandede, has said that criminals would no longer have easy access to the country as the NIS can now access information on Interpol database information.
Babandede stated this at the August edition of Lunch Time Reform Seminar organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) yesterday, in Abuja.
He said that having access to the Interpol database was an opportunity for NIS to track and prevent any criminal wanted globally from entering or doing business in Nigeria.
The NIS boss also spoke on activities of cyber criminals and advised Nigerians to desist from patronising fake recruitment sites as the service was not engaging personnel.
Babandede said: "This notice became necessary due to the increasing activities of fraudsters that have remained unrepentant. After several arrests and arraignment, they continue to open fake recruitment sites through which they defraud unsuspecting citizens of their money," he said.
Ibrahim Arabi, director-general, BPSR, said that the NIS had implemented most of the recommendations by BPSR, which had translated into improvement in quality of service delivered by the organisation.
Arabi said that the seminar was organised to share experiences, expose participants to internationally accepted best practices and equip officials to be better placed in driving reforms in various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The director-general said that it was more obvious that traditional government structures and systems were no longer suitable to meet the demands, desires and challenges of complex global economies.
He, therefore, asserted that to effectively accomplish targets, day-to-day government business should no longer rely on conventional approaches.
"Hence there is need to leverage on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to plan and execute government policies, programmes and projects," he said.