President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the appointment of Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch as a minister in the United Kingdom.
Badenoch was appointed by Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, as minister of children and families to work in the department of education.
Via a statement signed by Garba Shehu, Buhari’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, the president said the appointment was “well-deserved”.
He urged the 39-year-old MP to regard her new position as an opportunity to justify the confidence reposed in her by making lasting impact.
“The Nigerian leader, who said he had no doubt that Badenoch would succeed given her academic qualifications and parliamentary experience, also enjoined the junior minister to see herself as an ambassador of her fatherland in conduct and performance,” the statement read.
Acknowledging that Badenoch’s appointment is a plus for Nigerians in Diaspora, Buhari was quoted to have said “it further confirms my belief that with hard work and integrity, Nigerians can excel in their chosen professions and fields of endeavour anywhere in the world.”
The president, while also applauding Prime Minister Johnson for finding Badenoch suitable, wished her success in the new challenging role.
Born in London to Nigerian parents, the 39-year-old spent part of her childhood in Lagos.
She was elected to parliament in 2017, having previously served for the conservatives in the London assembly.
At the parliament, Badenoch talked about her experiences of poverty in Nigeria, including living without electricity or functioning water supply.
She also narrated how she had to do her homework using candles.
Returning to the UK at 16, she studied systems engineering at Sussex University, she also later got a degree in law, and has worked in the IT and banking sectors.