Running down the country won’t help anybody, says Saraki

Senate President Bukola Saraki says speaking ill of country is of no use to anyone.

Saraki said this during an interactive forum, organised at his instance, for the Nigerian community in Switzerland.

In a statement by Sanni Onnogu, his media aide, Saraki, who led the national assembly delegation to the 135th Inter-Parliamentry Union Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, said he was confident that Nigerians in Diaspora had the skills and competences required to assist the government to exit the current recession.

He said the senate was working at passing legislation that would encourage Nigerians living abroad to return and invest at home.

“I do not believe that not thinking positively about the country or that running down the country will help anybody. At the end of the day, if we do not think positive about our country, nobody will come and invest in our country,” he said.

“We want to really send a message across that the recession is a phase that we are passing through and hopefully, I am confident that very soon we will come out of it. But to come out of it, we have to take certain steps.

“The steps that we hope to take in collaboration with the executive and the prospects ahead of us as a country – both for them in the Diaspora and the role they can play in working together with government to move the country forward.”

He urged Nigerians in Switzerland to partner the government in critical sectors of the economy by deploying their capacity and making good investments.

“I am sure a lot of them will like to come back if the right condition is there. All we have to do now is to ensure that we have the enabling condition and environment that would make people come back,” he told journalists at the end of the session.

“And when you say investment, it is not just financial investment, there is also human investment where people will be ready to come back and look up opportunities. We talk about the issue of Information Technology (IT), and that there are great opportunities in Nigeria and how we can work together with some of them on the kind of laws that they think will make it very interesting and the incentive for companies to come in and set up different IT structures.

“If they do that, of course, they will be looking for people that have the capacity to be able to run it and some of them have that know-how, but they just don’t see what role they can play in Nigeria.

“We spent some time explaining to them the importance of the procurement law and the buy-Made-in-Nigeria campaign where we are trying to ensure that at least government agencies ensure that they give first option to Nigerian companies.

“The good thing is that there is need and desire for a lot of them to want to come back. We have a lot of work to do to create the enabling environment but also more important, is that we must market ourselves.”