President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday 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.
He gave the commendation while receiving the internet entrepreneur in the State House, Abuja.
Buhari, in a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said that 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.
He said: “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.
Buhari noted 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.
He added: “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 said.
In his remarks, 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.
After the meeting with the President, Zuckerberg and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo went to the old Banquet Hall of the State House for the Aso Villa Demo Day where the three finalists, Tracology, Recycle point, and Mass shuttle were announced to the public.
The three winners emerged from a total of 4,000 that competed on innovative and technology ideas relevant to solving Nigerian problems.
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