President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday commended the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, who is among the world’s richest men, for his simplicity and magnanimity, saying in Nigeria’s culture, rich men lavishly display their wealth and impulsive spending. Mr. Zuckerberg returned to Nigeria to meet with the president and Vice Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa on Friday afternoon. While granting audience to Zuckerberg at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Buhari commended him for sharing his wealth of knowledge with Nigerian youths, and inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs. According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President said the various meetings held with Nigerian youths since his arrival in the country 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 potential for growth, especially with our youthful population, but now we are moving beyond the potential to reality.
“I am impressed by your simplicity in sharing your knowledge and wealth with those with less income.”
“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 added that he is 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.