Nigerians are honourable and hard working people who are making remarkable contributions all over the world, the Federal Government said on Monday in New York.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Sola Enikanolaiye, told journalist that only a handful of the citizens were deviants.
Enikanolaiye lauded the giant strides Nigerians have made in all walks of life, commending their ingenuity, loyalty, patriotism and positive spirit wherever they were found.
The permanent secretary said: “The vast majority of Nigerians abroad are doing very well, bringing honour and glory to our country.
“However, we have few bad eggs and unfortunately, that’s what gets reported in many instances; so it is a case of ‘one bad apple spoils the barrel.
“So Nigeria’s image has also suffered from some of the activities of few Nigerians who get involved in all sorts of criminalities abroad but they are very few.
“Nevertheless, the silent majority of Nigerians are doing very well, doing the country proudly and we are proud of them.
“So we would continue to work on that strength of Nigeria and Nigerians because it is about perception.
“This is to make sure that what is being reported out there is positive for our country.”
He said the Federal Government would continue to work so it could project what was great and positive about Nigeria and ultimately change negative perceptions about our country.
Enikanolaiye said Nigeria had always been a reliable and dependable ally on the global stage, particularly at the UN since its independence.
According to him, the country is fully back on the global stage, particularly with the assumption of duty of its ambassador and permanent representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande.
The permanent secretary described the Nigeria’s UN envoy, and other envoys recently posted to other multilateral organizations as “very distinguished personalities”.
“Even though the permanent mission has been doing its best in keeping the Nigeria’s flag flying, we believe that Bande’s coming at this time would energize our efforts.
“This is for us to re-engage more effectively with the UN in a manner that Nigeria’s voice would be better heard in a manner that would show Nigeria’s role as a responsible and active player.”
Enikanolaiye had earlier addressed the UN Security Council’s open debate on “Women and peace and security: Sexual violence in conflict” where he assured the international community of Federal Government’s commitment to bring back the girls abducted by Boko Haram terrorists.
He had also met with the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, who he described as “a worthy ambassador of Nigeria” and expressed optimism that she would make Nigeria and Africa proud