Buhari: Nigeria’s Diversity, Youthful Population Pose Peculiar Challenges

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Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said Nigeria’s ethnic and cultural diversities as well as youthful population pose peculiar challenges and urged the international community to explore positive advantage of the trend.

The president, while receiving letters of credence from new ambassadors of Belgium, Mauritania, Austria and Norway at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, charged the international community and investors to take advantage of the nation’s diversity in human and natural resources by investing in the country.

He added that youth development, integration and employment remained the priority of his administration.
The president, in a statement by his media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, said: “Nigeria is ready to pursue broader dialogue as well as enhance cooperation and collaboration on the basis of constructive mutual respect and a shared vision for our future.

“As you may know, Nigeria is an ethnic and culturally diverse society with various opportunities, which we seek to creatively utilise for the benefit of our people. We are also a country with a huge population, which is predominantly youthful.
“These pose peculiar new challenges of their own. As Nigeria relates with your countries, it is our expectation that we should leverage on the advantages that can yield positive results in youth development in our country.’’

According to Buhari, Nigeria enjoys good bilateral relations with various countries and equally collaborates with them at the multilateral level to achieve set targets by international conventions and treaties.
He congratulated the ambassadors and expressed hope that the discharge of their diplomatic responsibilities in Nigeria would further boost relations with their countries.

“Allow me to offer you my sincere congratulations as you commence your diplomatic duties as defined by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
“As we celebrate its 60th anniversary, next year, it is my hope that you will carry out your respective mandates to improve existing cordial relations between our countries consistent with the provisions of this time-honoured convention,” he said.

Buhari expressed the need to enhance the cordial relations between Nigeria and their countries in the interest of the citizens and countries.
He highlighted the challenges confronting the countries and the commitment to address them, imploring the ambassadors to partner with Nigeria in these efforts.

He said: “Nigeria shares common problems of insecurity, impact of climate change and socio-economic challenges common among nations. “Notwithstanding these challenges, efforts are being made to sustain our position to overcome these difficulties. I invite you to partner with us to address these challenges.

“As a global family, we are impacted by several other common challenges like terrorism, insurgency, climate change, population explosion, human trafficking, corruption, poverty, and now the global health pandemic which Coronavirus represents considering its mayhem across the world.’’
The president added that the challenges underscored the need for the international community to make concerted efforts in resolving them in the interest of common humanity.

“The survival of humanity depends on our efforts to enhance our cooperation to attain the goals of global peace and economic prosperity,” he said.
The statement said that the Ambassador of Belgium, Mr Daniel Bertrand, while speaking on behalf of his colleagues, thanked Buhari for making out time to receive the letters of credence despite the peculiar challenge posed by COVID-19.

The envoy assured the president that all the ambassadors will make the best use of their postings to enhance relations with Nigeria in economics, commerce and socio-cultural issues.
“Your Excellency, we are at your disposal to strengthen and narrow the ties, not only in economic and commercial issues, but also in cultural terms,’’ he added.

Ambassadors who presented letters of credence to Buhari along with Bertrand were Mr. Amedi Camara, Ambassador of Mauritania, Mr. Thomas Schlesinger, Ambassador of Austria and Mr. Knut Eiliv Lein, Ambassador of Norway.