Buhari Commends Zuckerberg For Inspiring Nigerian Youths Into Entrepreneurship

Muhammadu Buhari and Mark ZuckerbergNigeria’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.

Mark Zuckerberg and President Muhammadu Buhari shaking hands before the meeting started

“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’

Muhammadu Buhari and Mark Zuckerberg
Nigeria’s President, his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, some ministers and others that came with Mr Zuckerberg

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.

Mark Zuckerberg takes Selfie With Muhammadu Buhari
Mark Zuckerberg taking a selfie with President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

“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.

Muhammadu Buhari and Mark Zuckerberg
president Buhari said Zuckerberg has motivated Nigerian youths on entrepreneurship

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.

Government Is Creating Enabling Environment For Youths – Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari message to Nigerian youthsNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has reassured Nigerian youths of his administration’s commitment to creating an enabling environment that will ensure they realise their potentials.

The President’s statement was contained in his message on Friday to Nigerian youths to mark this year’s International Youth Day.

Government Belongs To You

“I am delighted to commemorate this occasion, the second such celebration since I took office.

“The roles that young Nigerians played in the historic election that brought our government to power will never be forgotten. This government belongs to you,” President Buhari stated.

He said that his administration was also mindful of the fact that Nigeria had one of the youngest populations in the world.

“Those young people are immensely energetic and talented, consistently blazing the trail in the arts, sports, business and technology. We are proud of what you have done and what you are able to do.”

Reeling out some initiatives of the government that are targeted at expanding the economic opportunities available to young Nigerians, the President said ‘N-Power’, a government job creation scheme, provided a platform for 500,000 young Nigerians to get jobs in the agriculture, education, healthcare and technology sectors.

“The Aso Villa Demo Day will soon bring 30 of the most innovative young Nigerians to the State House to showcase their talent in providing technology-based solutions to some of our most challenging problems.

“The Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), part of our 500 billion Naira Social Investment Programme, will provide soft loans to thousands of young entrepreneurs across the country.

“These are just some of the many initiatives we have designed and are implementing for you,” he stressed, reminding the youths that they are the strength and future of Nigeria.