President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his government will protect Nigerians living within and outside the country.
The Nigerian leader made the promise when he spoke on Thursday to a gathering of Nigerians students and professionals in Sochi, Russia.
According to a statement issued by the president’s Media Adviser, Garba Shehu, the president promised to stretch the government’s reach and capacity in protecting all Nigerians, not minding the distance.
The statement read: “The life of every Nigerian, in every part of the world matters. Our government will protect Nigerians at home, and abroad.”
Buhari explained that the Nigeria Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) was established to ensure “a forward and backward link” for all Nigerians living outside the country by catering to their safety and needs, and providing a platform for many who would like to contribute to the development of the country with their skills, knowledge and resources.
He advised Nigerians living in foreign countries to be law-abiding and work hard to excel in their studies and chosen careers.
The president assured them that his administration will always be people-focused, adding that all the programmes of his administration had been tailored to buoy the economy and protect the poor and vulnerable.
“We must create jobs to meet the growing demands in the country, and we are looking at agriculture already.
“Yesterday, I met with Russian President, Vladimir Putin and we discussed some of the areas of shared interest which includes pushing for diversification of the economy in agriculture and solid minerals. Incidentally, we have a lot in common.
“Russia exports crude oil like Nigeria, and it is the second-largest producer of gas in the world. A lot can be learned from their journey. We will collaborate in agriculture, oil and gas, and solid minerals exploration,” Buhari was quoted to have said.
Also speaking, Steve Ugbah, Nigerian ambassador to Russia, said the president had restored the pride of all Nigerians by consistently meeting with citizens in countries he visited.
In his remarks, Chukwujeku Sam-Fester, the president of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) in Russia, said Buhari demonstrated a high sense of maturity and patriotism by visiting South Africa to discuss issues relating to attacks on foreigners, including Nigerians, in the country.
Sam-Fester asked the government to extend gestures like the national identity card, BVN, 10-year validity passport and encourage more participation in governance by inviting professionals in foreign countries to provide services.