The First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Oluremi Tinubu, has issued a call to Nigerians living abroad to contribute their efforts to President Bola Tinubu’s “Renewed Hope Agenda.” She also urged Nigerian youths to maintain hope in the current administration’s commitment to delivering democratic dividends and meeting their basic needs.
In 2022, the United Nations reported that 26,400 Nigerian citizens sought asylum abroad, with 27,000 Nigerian citizens recognized as refugees and granted protection that year.
Mrs. Tinubu made this appeal during the New York 2023 Nigeria Economic Growth and Trade Summit, held under the theme “Stemming Migration Flows by Providing Basic Needs.” The summit was organized by the Nigerian Governors’ Wives’ Forum alongside the 78th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
While acknowledging that migration can offer fresh opportunities and experiences, Mrs. Tinubu emphasized the risks and challenges it presents, particularly in terms of brain drain. Brain drain involves the emigration of highly skilled individuals, depriving their home countries of expertise and talents necessary for sustainable growth.
She emphasized the importance of creating conditions that enable people to thrive in their communities by providing access to quality education, a conducive environment for job creation, and the development of local industries that generate viable economic opportunities. Additionally, Mrs. Tinubu stressed the need to improve healthcare services, enhance social support systems, and discourage migration driven by health concerns.
Mrs. Tinubu introduced the “Renewed Hope Initiative,” which focuses on improving the lives of families across various sectors, including agriculture, education, economic empowerment, health, and social investment, with a particular focus on women and youth. She emphasized that empowering these demographics, combined with a supportive environment, can help reverse the trend of migration.
Addressing the wives of the governors, Mrs. Tinubu highlighted their crucial roles as leaders in driving sustainable change within their communities. She called for collaboration with government agencies to support the establishment of laws that protect human rights, provide equal opportunities, and encourage skilled individuals to return home after gaining educational experience abroad.
Mrs. Tinubu also underscored the importance of diaspora engagement, investment, knowledge sharing, and collaborations, which can help mitigate the adverse effects of brain drain.
Lastly, she urged Nigerians to promote a positive narrative, celebrate their cultural heritage, and take pride in Nigeria’s achievements. She expressed optimism about Nigeria’s potential for significant economic recovery and encouraged Nigerian youths to embrace patience and resilience in their collective efforts to build a better nation.
The event was attended by several governors’ wives, including those from Oyo, Ogun, Imo, Gombe, Lagos, Borno, and Kogi states.