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Opening remarks by Hon. Geoffrey Teneilabe, Consul General of Nigeria, Atlanta, at the Maiden Workshop of the Nigerian Community Leadership Forum (ACLF) Atlanta, 24th September 2011

Opening remarks by Hon. Geoffrey Teneilabe, Consul General of Nigeria, Atlanta, at the Maiden Workshop of the Nigerian Community Leadership Forum (ACLF) Atlanta, 24th September 2011

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  • 1. 0JEIINGJqEMAruKSBy.JtgI{1GE-8Ero$Y:rlpNEILAEE. coNsul. GENERAL OIt NIGERTA. ATLANTA. AT TIm a&IDEN,SrLRKsHppof IT,EENTGJBU${QOMMUNTLY tllapERsrurP FoRgM (Aql,F,l AEI,AI{IA.. 247 SEPXEMFER ?ol! + The President and Executive members of the Alliance of Nigerian Organieations in Georgia (AfiOC),F Members, ANOG Board of Directors,* Top Fxecutives ofANOG Member- Organizations here preserr!at Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen. I am pleased to be invited to this epoch-making eventn whish Iunderstand, is the first sf its kind in the history of Alt[OG. It istherefore a great honour for me to be part of this giant stride, aimedat fostering closer understanding snd synerry in your organization, aswell as expanding the capacity of the leadership of the t*Iigerian Icommunity in the State of Georgia" wish to identiff with theorganizem of this workshop, as it is all about how to improve thewellbeing of our people through service delivery and collaboration, ofwhich I and,the Csnsulate are stake holders.2. I am particularly pleased with the set objectives which thisForum has set to achieve, arnong which are to build strong link4gesand working relationships among leadar from different organizationsin the Nigerian community and to create a leverage to dialogue withthe Consulate -General on relations between her and the community. Theseobjectives, undoubtedly, are indicative of the clear focus of ANOG ll--- { -t -
  • 2. and its leadership, and of the organizations vision far the desired colresion and national mobilization of our peoples asross regional, political, ethnic, social and religious divides. 3. As we gather at this workshop, I wish to invite us to consider as a principal concern, the question of how to incressingly diminish ow affiliations to parochial, sectional identities, which ttrough inalienable, tend to divide us as a people and waaken our capacity, and move towards identifying with a single national group where the language of communication is simply Nigeria. I know that AITtrOG is already on this eourse, and I can only encourage her to move faster in this direction. 4- As a Consulateo ws have a responsibility to our nation^als thataims among other things, to mobilize them for national development.This is in line with our governments recognition of the huge capacrtyof the human capital that lies in the Diaspora which could be harnessed f.or national development. The govenrment has beeniustified in this vision over the years, as Nigerian professionalsabroad, have made substantial contribution to the core sectors of thenations economic, social and political development. This visioninforsred the creation of the Nigerian in the Diaspora Organization(NIDO) by the OBASANJO administration in ?000. The Consulatetherefore seeks to work with organizations like AIttOG which providethe vehicle for the desired national cohesion.5. IJ is towards the realiuation of this, that the Consulate has made it a policy not to relate difectly with organizations that are notnational in charaster, but encourage them to align themselves withumbrella organizations that could galvanize their collective efforts foruniry and development. This is what ANOG represents. NIDO alsostands for the same couffe. Ir is hoped that these organizations wouldcontinue a,s partners, to exercise responsible authority in theirrespective Ereas of influence for national mobilization.
  • 3. 6. I must not fail to uss this forum to recall my recent directive to all member-organiuations of ANOG to channel their invitations topublic functionaries of our sounty ttlrough the Consulate. Thissimple, rtormal protocol is well intendod to engender collaborationbeifrreen the Consulate and the respe*tive Nigerian organizationstowards achieving honourable, responsible and respectable receptionfor those frurctionaries. This directive was based on the poor showingof some organizations whose conduct bear on inadequate liaison withthe csnsulate. This well meaning directive was largely misunderstood,and interpreted by sorne people as breaching the t:ights of theorganizations, but this was so, largely due to lack of understanding ofdiplcmatic etiquette, the social and political values of such publicfunctionaries and the damage to national image th,at could follow anywrong handling of their visit.7 - I urge this workshop to consider the inevitable partnershipbetween the Consulate and the Nigerian community, and theresponsibility of the Consulate as an extension of our nationalgovernment which is here to senre and to guide sur people and theirrespective organizatisns to also $srire. I, ff the Consul General, willaffempa to coord"inate our collective efforJs towards our collectivevision, and I hope that you will parhrer with us in this endeavour.L Finally, I wflIrt ta commend you for the memorablecommefforation of our countrys 50tr independence anniversary in2010, the effective interface with the Consulateo assistaace to ournationals and above all, creating the awat$ness of the desiredcollective efforts towards national uffi gnd development. I urge youto help with the Consulateos wor-k by coming up with any usefuldiscussions that could maks the Consulate more efFective. I chargeyou to use the wide nenvork of your organization to affempt acompilation of information on our nationals in your coysrage arcas.I thank you for inviting me snd I wish you fruitful doliberations.
  • 4. Consulate General of the Federal Republic of NigeriaAtlanta?4th Septemher, 201l.