Ogbonnaya Onu, minister of science and technology, has urged Nigerians in the diaspora to return home and “help build a nation of everybody’s dream”.
The minister made the appeal during a series of town hall meetings held with Nigerians in the US.
NAN reports that the minister was in the US to sensitise Nigerians on the presidential executive order V signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in February.
The order, he said, would improve local content in public procurement with components in science, engineering and technology.
Part of the order states that “all procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007”.
Addressing his audience, Onu said: “Please we want you to return home, it is important. Not everybody will return but some can start coming home, and that’s the essence.
“We are telling you that things are changing in Nigeria, this is the message, that’s why I’m here.
“I heard all the complaints – people will do this and nobody responds and all that and so on; yes, these are things that happened in the past and we can’t correct these things just overnight.
“This is the truth, there is no way you can make these changes and then make the corrections and all that overnight. But the important thing is that there is a change.”
Onu appealed to them to make “patriotic decisions” that will contribute to the development of Nigeria.
He said there are many pioneers like Bill Gates who can return to Nigeria and build it to the level that would benefit future generations.
“If there were pioneers that built America, there must be pioneers to build Nigeria,” he said.
“We have some of the most intelligent people in the world. I can tell you this because I know those Nigerians who have done so well in the best universities, in the best research centres in the world.”
Onu said the executive order will make money for Nigeria and Nigerians, create jobs for the citizens, fight poverty and increase the number of middle-class persons in the nation.