Let us work using our talents and professional sway to move our people from a limelight characterized by dishonesty and fear to one of pride and respect- Hon. Kenneth Gbandi, President NIDO Germany

Being part of his inaugural speech

Dear distinguished members Nigerians In Diaspora Organization (NIDO) Germany,
Dear potential NIDO members,
Fellow Nigerians in Germany,

Firstly I wish to express my gratitude for the trust and confidence of NIDO Germany in electing me as the new President of this great organization on the 20th April 2013. Again, I pledge my complete and total allegiance and I will work assiduously with the new dynamic team Mr. Kenneth Alaekwe (Vice-President), Ms. Rosalyn Dressman (General Secretary), Mr. Adeyemi Ademuyiwa (Financial Secretary), Mr. Eddy Duruh (Assistant General Secretary), Hon. Kevin Uguru (PRO), Mr. Johnson Adams (Project Officer) and Ms. Zainab Mohamed (Treasurer) to take NIDO Germany to a greater level.

I also want to thank all the distinguished and Honourable members that made my election possible. I take this opportunity to thank NIDO Germany outgoing President (Engr. Sebastian Udeajah) and all the past Presidents and executives for laying a solid foundation and keeping the NIDO Germany flame burning. I equally want to use this opportunity to inform Nigerians in Germany and the general public that any Nigerian professional or academician legally resident in Germany is qualified to be a member. NIDO is made-up of Nigerians resident in Germany from a variety of professional backgrounds. The members of NIDO are practicing professionals with years of experience in various fields of profession. At this juncture, let me re-emphasize that there are some outstanding Nigerians who are neither professionals nor academicians but are welcome as members of NIDO Germany due to their achievements in their respective areas. You could be one of them. And do not forget that in Germany Taxi-driving (for example) is a professional engagement duly trained and certified.

NIDO Germany objectives are in line with the decision adopted on the 22nd November 2000 by the federal government of Nigeria, following the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s, GCFR meetings, in September 2000 with Nigerians in Washington and London for the establishment of a very strong Organisation that comprises Nigerian academicians and professionals residing in Europe. These objectives could be summarized as: present our nation and people as honest and dependable, promote business, trade and investment opportunities, provide a professional resource pool from where (German) and Nigerian interests can be managed in a secure, respectful and fair manner, induce growth in the areas of economic, social, academic, political, entertainment e.t.c.) where our people seek to position themselves. This idea was further strengthened with the formation of the House of Representative Committee on Diaspora, which is one of the standing committees of the House of Representatives established pursuant to Order XVII Section 144 of the House Standing orders set up in 2009 under the Honourable Speaker Dimeji Bankole in the 6th National Assembly.

In Europen and indeed German media, ‘Nigeria’ plays only a very subordinate role. The few pieces of news that make it to Europe have – without exception – a negative connotation. Topics are: abduction of foreigners, introduction of the sharia in Northern Nigeria, Boko Haram, political unrest in the Niger Delta, political instability and corruption. We acknokwedege these challenges as a mitigating factor against European and indeed German businesses willing and hoping to do business in Nigeria and as NIDO Germany, we condemn the aforementioned vices in the strongest possible term. We urge the Federal Government to without delay demonstrate to the world that we are serious and capable of addressing these challenges. The other major problems militating against doing business in Nigeria is lack of information. Information related to custom policies in Nigeria, information on untapped economic sector in Nigeria and information about who Nigerians are as against whom the popular press has set Nigerians up to be. Nigeria being one of the most attractive markets in the world is principally ready to explore new business areas with Germany. This is where members of NIDO and NIDO Germany must come in.

President Obasanjo in a Town Hall Meeting in Germany

Our nation Nigeria has made commendable improvements in areas such as technology, health care, financial and banking services, as well as telecommunication, information management, and agriculture. This is crucial towards bringing about the much needed investment and business partnerships which could further guarantee economic expansion in the country, guarantee peace and security and invariably set Nigeria once again on the right economic path. The goal of this executive and indeed NIDO Germany is to work using our talents and professional sway to move our people from a limelight characterized by dishonesty and fear to one of pride and respect. Nigeria is no doubt a vital partner for Germany and Europe, hence the urgent need to showcase our values and love for one another to the world in spite of the daunting security challenges in our dear country.

Over the years, Germany has been a medical home of sorts for past presidents and top government officials from Nigeria who come for medical checkups and treatments. These include President Ibrahim Babangida, President Umar Musa Yar’Adua, Her Excellencies Stella Obasanjo, Mariam Babangida and Dr. Patience Goodluck Jonathan have also benefited from this possibility. One thing brings them all to Germany the ”Made in Germany Quality”; the business and engineering quality that produces the BMWs, Mercedes, Audis, Porsches, Engineering giant like Siemens, construction giants like Julius Berger and Strabag and aviation icon Airbus, e.t.c. It is our hope to re-connect and build on these solid “Made in Germany” reputations of trusted quality, German discipline and reliability and make Nigeria also home to small and medium scale firms from Germany and improve trade and investment “Trans-Fair” deals. “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come!” (Victor Hugo) and the time to move Nigerian-German relationship further stronger in the areas of trade and investment as well as tourism and culture is now.

The relationship between Germany and Nigeria has been a very unique one irrespective of the rise of “Made in China mass production”. This was underscored by the recent visit of President Jonathan to Germany at the invitation of Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had earlier visited Abuja in July 2011. During the visit, both Governments decided to create a German Nigerian Bi-national Commission in order to intensify the bilateral relations between both countries. At the occasion of President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit to Berlin, the working groups of this Bi-national Commission met for the first time. The four groups are working on issues such as politics, energy, economy and investment as well as culture, education and migration.

The Nigerian economy needs such a nudge especially from sectors that are non-oil based. The current government initiatives to create new capacities in the power sector can greatly help drive faster some of the critical wheels in the Nigerian economy.
As the new President of NIDO Germany, with my executive will amongst others, assist the Bi-national Commission and other initiative by providing professional resource pool to both Nigerian and German government. We will also focus on increasing the visibility and profile of Nigerian academicians, businessmen, entrepreneurs and professionals residing in Germany. We will fashion out stronger network possibilities amongst Nigerian academicians, businesspeople, entrepreneurs and professionals residing in Germany and initiate high level contacts between NIDO-Germany and people in business, politics and in socio-cultural fields both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria. We will equally lead a strong lobby group, using our individual and collective skills and past experiences to build economic and political support for NIDO Germany with a view to promoting business, trade and investment opportunities while playing our part in NIDO Europe family.

If you share the same dream with us, irrespective of your experiences and disappointments in the past, then let us join hands to build a platform where our full potentials will be put to use and our collective skills and experiences managed in a secure, respectful and fair manner in Pursuance of National Development. “The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do” – Steve Jobs

Long Live NIDO Germany
Long Live the Federal the Republic of Nigeria
Long Live Federal Republic of Germany
Hon. Kenneth Gbandi
President NIDO Germany


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