US-based Nigerian business consultant, Amina Temitope Ajayi aka Mama Diaspora has said that the job of heading Diaspora organization or commission ought to be given to core professionals, who know much about what Nigerians in the Diaspora are facing.
Speaking in an interview, Ajayi, an accountant by training, a social entrepreneur and an ardent community activist insisted that she has kept telling the government that if they wanted to appoint anybody to handle issues affecting the people in the Diaspora, he or she should be somebody that is part of them.
“I am one of the people that fought for Diaspora Commission at the 2014 National Conference. I represented women at the conference. The present Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari was the chairman of the Diaspora Committee at the conference.
“Handling Diaspora matter should not be a political appointment. I feel that they should have given my dear sister, Abike Dabiri another portfolio because she has been on Diaspora issue for almost 20 years now.
“She was the Chairman of the Federal House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora for almost 16 years. She was the Special Adviser on Diaspora to the President for four years, then presently she is on another 4 years as the Chairman of the Diaspora Commission.
“I don’t think there is any other Mama Diaspora in the world again apart from me. Hon. Abike Dabiri ought to come and partner with us in the Diaspora that partner us that know the ace on the issue of Diaspora,” she said, adding that the work of a soldier could not be given to a civilian.
Temitope Ajayi, who was the President of All Nigerian American Congress (ANAC), stated that the name, “Mama Diaspora was given to her by former president Olusegun Obasanjo as the President of Nigerians in the Diaspora.
She stressed that Obasanjo said that she was the only president of Nigeria abroad, and that he called her one day and said “you are Mama Diaspora.”
While assessing the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, Ajayi said that uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.
She stressed that the masses could have been the priority of the government, adding that once they have the masses by their side, it would be easy.
“There should be Corporate Social Responsibility on the part of the government. You don’t depend on the government alone, any company that employs the masses should be given tax rebate.
“The government should reduce the amount of money they would pay because they take the responsibility away from the government. In the United States of America, from the tithe we pay in the church, the churches take care of the local schools and the environment or else the General Overseer of the church will go to jail. The government gives us something at end of the year for paying tithes,” she said.
On the 2014 Constitutional Conference, the woman advised the government not to waste money on organising another conference, and said that they should go back to the one that was organized then.
Ajayi, who said she was a member of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) threw her weight behind the presidential ambition of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who she said is like a brother to her.
“Tinubu is my brother. We call him ‘Egbon’ Bola. I knew him from Mobil, I used to do contracts with the company. I must confess he is a very kindhearted man that wants the best for this country Nigeria
“He has helped so many people to achieve their life ambitions. If it is the will of God he will be the next president of Nigeria,” she said.
The woman however, revealed that she has been helping young people to go into business through soft loans that could be as little as $50 dollars.
She revealed that God has used her to empower about 350 people, adding that they didn’t need the government to achieve their aims, but that they pulled individuals out of poverty and give them money.
“In the United States of America, people live on credit. It is eco system, that is what we do in Silicon Valley. Young men want to work, but they don’t have money. That is what they do in China, it is entrepreneurship.
“If I give you N20,000, I will increase it to N40,000, if you return the money. Later, I will increase it to N80,000 then N160,000. I started entrepreneurship programme, we will mentor you and monitor you.
“The government give people money without mentoring them. These youths, when they collect N40,000, they would return N2,000 weekly. I call Honeywell, and others through which we give them products to sell to market women who would buy here and I would give them commission.
“RC COLA , Cocacola has been good to us, so also PZ. They give the products to me, but I don’t need the money. Now, some of the youths, who were living in shanties have rented houses. They sell second had clothes, phone cards, engine oil and others,” she said.