When a Nigerian owns a company in a foreign land, he doesn’t enslave the indigenous people or pay them next to nothing, as some would in Nigeria.
There are two classes of Nigerian immigrants, the first class are the highly educated and skilled ones (or seeking to become), the second group are the highly talented unskilled professionals/business owners/entrepreneurs. Ask the United States or the United Kingdom, they can testify that despite their harshness in issuing visas to Nigerians, our people are still major stakeholders in their achievements.
The world fails to realise that Nigerians bring success and breakthrough to cities they reside (we dare where others fear to go). Show me a city with Nigerian immigrants and I will show you a city with best brains and best hands. While there may be some very few Nigerians with bad character, it is an unnecessary hasty generalisation that majority of Nigerians are bad.
For record sake, we don’t deal drugs at home in Nigeria as perpetrated in the global media, hardly can you hear of an arrest or about someone dealing with hard drugs in Nigeria, so the next time you look at me with such eye at an airport, just know I will tell you the reason you never made it beyond your point of duty.
And to the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the onus lies on you to rebrand the image of our nation, and that of our countrymen. You can create a record of all Nigerians at home and abroad and synchronize the data using BVN and NIMC. These things are not rocket sciences.
As much as I see myself as a global citizen, I am still a Nigerian and will forever be and I need people to start respecting it whenever I say I am a Nigerian. I have a lot of ideas for our foreign Ministry and how to negotiate the challenges Nigerians are facing abroad, and If I am contacted, I will be willing to help.
Toyosi Craig is a Nigerian Engineer. He resident in South Africa, where he sent this piece