• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Nigeria-Canada summit touches on benefits of bi-culturalism

Nigeria-Canada summit touches on benefits of bi-culturalism

The Nigeria-Canada Trade Summit wrapped up last week, with a key takeaway being the immense potential for those with ties to both nations. Experts highlighted the advantages of living a “two-worlds” life, emphasizing the cultural and professional bridges Nigerians in Canada can build.

Business and immigration experts engaged in a wide exchange of ideas at the Nigeria-Canada trade summit held in Lagos on Thursday, March 7, 2024, shedding light on the benefits of straddling two countries, which they referred to as living in ‘two worlds’.

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The event, hosted by Glocapro and attended by prominent figures across various sectors, featured prominent speakers who provided insights into the potential of Nigerian diaspora communities in shaping a brighter future for Nigeria.

Among the speakers were Pat Utomi, a renowned professor of political economics; Niyi Adesanya, a leadership and management consultant; Mehal Singh, a regulated Canadian immigration consultant; and co-conveners, Sunday Olorunsheyi and Babajide Shiwoku.

During his delivery, Utomi articulated the transformative power embedded in living across borders, emphasising the invaluable contributions that diasporans can make to Nigeria’s development.

He spoke on the significance of leveraging the diverse institutions and values of foreign countries to instigate positive change within Nigeria. Drawing parallels with historical examples like Japan, India, and China, he highlighted the pivotal role played by diaspora communities in propelling national growth.

“I usually say that Nigeria despite all the frightening things you hear today, will rise again; and the anchor of that rise would be the Nigerian diaspora. If you look at the 20th century, Japan rose following the Meiji Restoration on the back of ideas from the Japanese diaspora majorly from Germany. India rising, China rising, all came largely from their diaspora,” he stated.

“We who are here in Nigeria, given the kind of corruption that we have allowed to eat into our psyche are not going to build a good society. Look, in my view, there are a number of things that’d be responsible for a great nation, one are your institutions and the other are your values. Those two are in complete collapse in Nigeria today. But those Nigerians who live in Canada, who live in the United States, who are living different values, they’ll bring the salvation we seek.”

The second keynote speaker, Adesanya delved into the essence of sustainability in business, emphasising the importance of creating transgenerational wealth. He elucidated on the four levels of business success, stressing the necessity of a conducive environment for achieving enduring prosperity.

“There are four levels to achieving sustainability in your business, first is getting rich, second is staying rich, third is being sane in the midst of riches, and the final level is attaining transgenerational wealth. One factor that is common to all levels is having a conducive and empowering environment,” he said.

Singh also shared his personal journey of transitioning from a student to a successful entrepreneur in Canada.

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He advocated for perseverance and diligence in pursuing business endeavours, giving a step-by-step guide on how to take advantage of Canadian business policies. He elucidated on the opportunities available in Canada and the pathways to entrepreneurial success in the North American nation.

Olorunsheyi started by raising concerns about the prevalent trend of African migrants seeking employment rather than venturing into entrepreneurship in Canada. He emphasised the significance of representation in decision-making spheres and urged Africans to seize opportunities for economic empowerment.

He said, “It is the people who are starting businesses in Canada that are controlling the economy and influencing policies, and our people are not well represented. Like I said, if you are not sitting at the table, it means you are part of the menu.”

On his part, Shiwoku provided insights into Glocapro’s mission to facilitate economic empowerment among Africans in Canada, citing the need for African businesses to capitalise on the growing Afro-Caribbean population in the country.

The summit concluded with a resolve to further explore and harness the potential of Nigeria-Canada trade relations, with Glocapro announcing plans to host the Canada version of the summit in September 2024.

The event witnessed the presence of influential figures across diverse sectors, including business, technology, manufacturing, and professional services, with Television host, Mrs. Tope Mark-Odigie, gracing the occasion as the moderator.