Prof. Abdullahi Shehu, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Russia has described Nigerians as law-abiding and great contributors to their nation’s economy.
Shehu, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Moscow on Monday, commended the Nigerian community for living peacefully with its hosts across the Federation.
“Though there are some bad eggs in the basket, the majority of Nigerians living in Moscow have stayed out of trouble and are working very hard, which in turn contributes to the economy and development of the country.
“The Nigerian community here has been living peacefully and the members have supported the embassy and vice versa.
“Majority of our citizens are law-abiding and most of them that are resident here are people who schooled here. Hence, they know the culture and traditions of their hosts.
“Russians and Nigerians inter-marry.
“They are living peacefully and have also contributed to the development and economy of both countries, as well as strengthened the relations between the two countries.
“So, to that extent, I can tell you that we do not have many problems with Nigerians living in Russia.
“Of course, you will have a few bad eggs, but it has not been dramatic since I assumed duty here. They have rather been commended for being law-abiding.
“As a diplomat, I am here to look after our citizens. So for now, I can say we are living peacefully,” Shehu said. According to the envoy, the Nigerian embassy makes constant engagement with nationals in the country and supports them where necessary.
“We are working closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) Russia.
“The essence of NIDO is to encourage professionals who have made it overseas to invest in Nigeria.
“We are strengthening that but of course, you know that the current situation has posed a lot of challenges with respect to logistics, value chains with respect to so many things.
“And therefore, whatever we intend to do has been slowed down by the current political situation,” the ambassador said.
Shehu said it was interesting to note that Nigerians living in Russia had developed a keen interest in the happenings in Nigeria and always want to be part of it.
“You know that we are having elections next year and therefore they are interested in knowing what happens in Nigeria.
“So, we are here to provide them with the necessary and accurate information regarding the democratic process and how it is moving very well in Nigeria including issues of humanitarian support to displaced persons as well as issues of human rights,” he said.
NAN reports that there are no fewer than 30,000 Nigerians living in Russia and officially registered by the Nigerian embassy in the country.
Published Vanguard Nigeria