Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has commended the Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, for sharing his wealth of knowledge with Nigerian youths, and inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs.
At a meeting with Mr Zuckerberg at the Presidential Villa in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja, President Buhari said the various meetings the Facebook founder had held with Nigerian youths since his arrival were most timely, as the country was already exploring opportunities to spur development through entrepreneurship.
“Nigeria has always been identified as a country with great potentials for growth, especially with our youthful population, but now we are moving beyond the potentials to reality.
“I am impressed by your simplicity in sharing your knowledge and wealth with those with less income,” the President said.
‘Culture Of Lavish Wealth’
In a statement by a spokesman for the President, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari pointed that the simplicity and magnanimity of the entrepreneur, who is among the world’s richest men, had also challenged the ‘culture of lavish wealth’ display and impulsive spending that had become peculiar to Nigerians.
“In our culture, we are not used to seeing successful people appear like you. We are not used to seeing successful people jogging and sweating on the streets.
“We are more used to seeing successful people in air-conditioned places. We are happy you are well-off and simple enough to always share,” he added.
In his remarks, Mr Zuckerberg said he was impressed by the interest, energy and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by young Nigerians in all the ICT camps that he had visited.
“I was highly impressed by the talent of the youths in the Co-creation Hub in Yaba. I was blown away by their talent and the level of energy that I saw,’’ he said.
Zuckerberg said he was in the country to promote the penetration of “fast and cheap” internet connectivity, Express-wifi, that would help people create online businesses and reduce poverty.
Mr Zuckerberg was seen going into the Presidential Villa at about 12 noon and left before 1.00 pm.
At the meeting with the Nigerian President, Mr Zuckerberg also presented a Facebook drone prototype to President Buhari.
After the meeting with the President, Mr Zuckerberg headed for the Presidential Banquet Hall to participate in the Aso Villa Demo Day, a programme where 30 Nigerian aspiring tech entrepreneurs are expected to showcase their I.T. skills.
The Facebook founder is said to have flown back into Nigeria from Kenya early on Friday for the meeting.
He had arrived Nigeria on Tuesday and met with aspiring Tech Entrepreneurs and other young Nigerians in Lagos for two days, and shared his thoughts on how Nigeria and Africa can key into the technological revolution that is re-defining human activities across the world.