Congratulations to you all the class of 2020 and the class of 2021. You have done very well, and you have made your parents proud.
I love the diversity I see here: you have students from all parts of Nigeria, a reflection also of Nigeria’s diversity.
I also love the diversity that I see in the international students and faculty. You are all welcome in Nigeria. I gather that the international student body includes the nations of South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Cameroon, India and Romania.
I trust that in your respective ways and in the years ahead, you will all become honorary ambassadors of Nigeria. I trust that you will also look back in the not-too-distant future and say, “yes, Nigeria finally made it!”
I am proud to be a Nigerian. I know that for several people, this might sound like an old cliché, whose time has passed. I fully understand the challenges we face as a nation. Yet, I have a dream that we will arise, from our challenges, and build a more prosperous and united nation.
So, today, I want to speak to you about “Building a New Nigeria: Imperatives for Shared Prosperity”.
I speak to you today as a Nigerian. As I have quite often said, I will live as a Nigerian, die as a Nigerian, and on the resurrection morning I will ask God for permission to rise as a Nigerian, with the green-white-green flag in my hand!
Nigeria is blessed with incredibly rich diversity: of people, of cultures, of religions, of mineral resources, oil, and gas, an amazingly rich biodiversity, that should make us the envy of the world. We are blessed with abundantly diverse agro-ecologies, that should also make us a land of bountiful harvests with capacity to feed Africa.