Buhari commends Zuckerberg for inspiring Nigerian Youths
• 30 Winners Emerge In Aso Villa-Tech Promo
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of social networking website, Facebook, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg for sharing his wealth of knowledge with Nigerian youths, and inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Receiving Zuckerberg in the State House, President Buhari yesterday said the various meetings 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.
President Buhari noted that the simplicity and magnanimity of Zuckerberg, 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, Zuckerberg said he was impressed by the interest, energy and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by young Nigerians in all the Information Communication Technology (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.
Zuckerberg later attended the Aso Villa Demo Day where he commended the winners including Emmanuel Okena, Allison Ukonu and Damilola Olosesusi who represented Tricology, Recycle Point and Mass Shuttle firms respectively, and the entrepreneurial disposition of the 30 persons who made the shortlist of government’s creativity promotion among youths in the country.
Specifically, the 30 most innovative and talented persons were picked out of the several thousands of young Nigerians who participated in a competitive selection process.
They were made to pitch their innovative ideas yesterday at the Presidential Villa to a presidential audience including venture capitalists, investors and decision makers in the ICT industry among other influential business groups and interests.
Host, Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo also commended all the winners particularly the three who distinguished themselves, arguing that the growth of Nigeria was hinged on the vibrant technology-based ideas and innovations of young people.
“This country is going to be built and is being built on the energy and the innovation and on the creativity of young people,” he said.