Nigerian Community Germany: Who is saying the truth: The President or the Ambassador?
“Germany does not have many Nigerians and the few ones available are busy fighting each other to make any meaningful contribution”
– Ambassador Abubakar
“Good evening. Let me first of all express my delight and appreciation for having this great opportunity to meet and interact with you. I want to thank you for congratulating me and for your support and goodwill. Since we came to Germany two days ago for the G8 meeting, I have heard from German officials as well as from the Nigerian ambassador that Nigerians living in Germany are very good ambassadors of our country”– President Yar´ Adua
As part of the ongoing debate about the new leadership of Ambassador Abdu Usman Abubakar with selection and restrained access to government officials policy first introduced during the organization of the 51st independence anniversary which also stood as his introduction ceremony. Ambassador Abdu Usman Abubakar has not since then seen the reason to sit with Nigerians and know their plight. We cited then that if the statement accredited to H.E. Ambassador Abdu Usman Abubakar that Germany does not have many Nigerians as part of the explanation of the poor turn out to meet the president, and that the few ones available are busy fighting each other to make any meaningful contribution is true, it will be the most unfortunate statement any serving Ambassador will make against his own people, and this has gone a long way to show how little he knows the constituency he is sent to represent. Till today this statement has neither been denied nor debunked.
We promised in the said article to republish “Who is Who in the Nigerian Community Germany”, first published in Nigerian Year Book Germany 2009. We agree that the publication still requires scholastic improvement however it provides an essentially urgent insight into the Nigerian community in Germany and the business/professional reach it offers and we also hope this will provoke a healthy debate about Nigerian community in Germany which have been left in the hands of people with little or no idea about the country and the community.
The Nigerian Year Book 2009/2010 in essence contains a careful compilation of the names, contacts and profiles of key Nigerians, business institutions, Nigerian government agencies, and Nigerian professionals who are active in the German business as well as in the professional and socio-economic arena.
In the first part of this article, we present President Yar´ Adua address to Nigerians in Germany:
President Yar´ Adua speaks to Nigerians in Germany
Good evening. Let me first of all express my delight and appreciation for having this great opportunity to meet and interact with you. I want to thank you for congratulating me and for your support and goodwill. Since we came to Germany two days ago for the G8 meeting, I have heard from German officials as well as from the Nigerian ambassador that Nigerians living in Germany are very good ambassadors of our country, that you go about your business lawfully and contribute to the development and growth of your host nation. As Nigerians in the diaspora, each one of you is an ambassador of Nigeria and whatever you do tells on the prestige and credibility of our country. I am proud of what you are doing and of the good name you are earning for our country.
I took office about eight days ago as president of our dear nation. In the past eight years, President Olusegun Obasanjo has done his best to put in place necessary structures and reforms to ensure that Nigeria is put on a proper path.
In that respect, a lot has been achieved. We have made a lot of progress towards macroeconomic stability.
Some of these reforms that we have put in place have been quite painful but they are necessary, absolutely necessary, to transform our economy from an underdeveloped status to a modern industrialized one. This is what we intend to do – to transform Nigeria to be among the first 20 most industrialized nations in the world. This is a vision which all Nigerians must share. It is what we have to do and what we must do. As a nation, we have the capability, the resources, and the manpower to do this but we need to cultivate the individual political will, patriotism, and commitment to achieve progress and build a nation that we all can be proud of, a prosperous nation that we will bequeath to our children. I believe that every Nigerian, at home and in diaspora, needs to embrace this vision; every Nigerian needs to contribute to the achievement of this objective.
In the last eight years, the Nation seems to have reached a consensus on four issues.
1_Democracy and the rule of law
Like the president of NIDO has just stated, Nigeria has, for the first time, attempted and made a successful transition from one democratically elected government to another since independence. This is a landmark achievement. Even though there have been problems with the elections itself, and the election as a process has not been perfect, we as a nation will invest effort to improve and make future elections meet with international standard. This way, we will be able to guarantee democracy and the rule of law.
2_Good governance and no tolerance of corruption
The second issue over which we have reached consensus is good governance and zero tolerance of corruption. This is a continuous process and there is a broad-based agreement that we need good governance at all levels of government and conduct ourselves to respect the laws and regulations that govern public and private engagements. One of the greatest challenges that my administration will face is to improve the quality of governance and ensure strict adherence to the rule of law.
Nigerians have agreed that we need to sustain the economic reforms begun by the former administration because we are seeing results. Today we are witnessing macroeconomic stability. The economy is growing by an average of 6% per annum and the agricultural sector recorded a growth of 8% last year. We have stable exchange rates which have virtually merged. My administration will continue to promote these achievements so that we can offer a better life for the Nigerian people.
There are certain infrastructures which are critical to the development of a modern industrialized country. One of these infrastructures is the field of power and energy. The situation in this field is a major concern of this administration and finding a solution to these urgent problems is one of our top priorities. Already during my campaigns, I promised the people of Nigeria that I will declare a national emergency on this sector. We are going to come out with a blueprint that will fast-track the attainment of sustainable and adequate power supply for the Nigerian economy to grow. I believe that if we are able to solve the problem of power and energy in our nation, more than 50% of the problems from other sectors would have been addressed, too.
In addition, there is the issue of security in the Niger Delta and security in the nation as a whole. The Niger Delta is strategic to the nation. I believe that with the plan we have for addressing the Niger Delta problem, I can be confident that within a year and a half, by the grace of God, we will be able to find a lasting solution to the problem of insecurity, crisis, and agitations within the region.
A major function of the government is to provide security for life and property. We view security as a critical factor in our effort to develop a modern industrialized economy. For this reason, we are going to treat it like power and energy. It is a necessary precondition that we must put in place to have the necessary investments – not only foreign direct investments but also investment of Nigerians both at home and in diaspora. We must reassure those who want to invest their money in our economy that their money and property will be safe, that their investment will be safe, that their workers who will work here will be safe, and that there will be an atmosphere of security and tranquillity that will allow them to work to their full potential and capacity. We are going to invest money to provide security in the same way we will invest money to construct roads. We will also give priority to the education sector for the building of human capacity, because I believe that if we manage to solve the power and energy problem and we manage to solve the security problem in the Niger Delta and in Nigeria as a whole, then we will need highly qualified and skilled manpower to manage the growth that will take place as a result of the transformation that we envisage. Development now is knowledge driven.
Part of President Yar´ Adua’s address during his first official visit to Germany