Oluremi Tinubu, the first lady, asserted that President Bola Tinubu would not have risen to leadership in Nigeria had he chosen to remain overseas.
She expressed this sentiment on Monday during the Nigeria Economic Growth and Trade Summit held alongside the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at the Nigeria House in New York. The summit was organized by the Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum.
Oluremi emphasized that the “brain drain” from Africa has resulted in the continent losing the talent it needs for its development. She urged Nigerians abroad to align with her husband’s “Renewed Hope” agenda for the country’s betterment.
“In our respective communities, we must strive to create conditions and provide essential services that enable people to flourish by ensuring access to quality education, a conducive environment for job creation, and the growth of local industries to generate viable economic opportunities,” she stated.
Oluremi further explained, “The Renewed Hope initiative is a recently launched effort aimed at enhancing the lives of families. Our focus areas include agriculture, education, economic empowerment, health, and social investment, with a particular emphasis on women and youth, who form the backbone of society.”
With 70 percent of the population being youth and women representing 49.6 percent, she believed that initiatives concentrating on empowering these demographics, along with fostering a favorable environment, would gradually counteract the negative trend of migration.
The first lady urged governors’ wives to work toward creating equal opportunities for all citizens in the country. She also suggested that policy reforms encouraging skilled individuals to return home after gaining education abroad could help reverse the migration trend.
Although the President didn’t explicitly share this sentiment with her, she stated, “I just want to reassure you that it’s good to come back home. If he had stayed here and expressed his fondness for our country, I don’t think he would have ever become your president. So, that’s something to ponder. God bless you, and we look forward to seeing you soon.”
On her part, Olufolake AbdulRazaq, the chair of the Governors’ Wives Forum, expressed hope that the outcomes of the summit would help reduce migration trends in Nigeria.