Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has called upon his countrymen living in foreign countries to be good ambassadors of the West African nation.
Buhari made the remarks in Pretoria on Friday, where he met with Nigerians living in South Africa.
“You are our Ambassadors and the face of our country to the world wherever you are. The world is therefore, watching you and would make judgments on Nigeria based on your comportment and actions,” President Buhari said.
The 76-year-old is in South Africa for an official state visit, coming just weeks since the country experienced violence against foreigners.
The xenophobic attacks left at least 12 people dead and many others injured, prompting Nigeria to recall its high commissioner to the country, and also evacuated around 500 of its citizens living there.
In his speech on Friday, President Buhari called upon South Africa to ensure the incident does not occur again, and also urged Nigerians to abide by the laws of the country while living there.
“Let me also call on all Nigerians to be law abiding and respect constituted authorities while you live here. May I also enjoin the few that sometimes gives us a bad name, to desist from such misdemeanours and be our good ambassadors,” he added.
President Buhari also called upon South Africa to open up its economy for more Nigerian businesses, while guaranteeing their safety, stressing the need for reciprocity in promoting trade & investments between both countries.
Nigeria is South Africa’s biggest trade partner in the continent, with flows estimated at $4.5 billion last year compared with $2.9 billion a decade ago, according to Bloomberg.
Nigeria also accounts for 64 percent of South Africa’s total trade with the West African Region.