President Muhammadu Buhari has hailed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder of social networking website, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg, for his simplicity and willingness to share knowledge and wealth with the less privileged.
The president stated this on Friday while receiving Mr. Zuckerberg at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Buhari said the various meetings the Facebook co-founder held with Nigerian youth since his arrival were most timely as the country was already exploring opportunities to spur development through entrepreneurship.
Mr. Zuckerberg had been in Nigeria since Tuesday. He later traveled to Kenya where he met with that country’s ICT minister before returning to the country Friday to participate in the Aso Villa Demo Day, an event organised by the Buhari administration for Nigerians to showcase their ideas for possible investment support from the government.
“Nigeria has always been identified as a country with great potentials for growth, especially with our youthful population, but now we are moving beyond the potentials to reality.
“I am impressed by your simplicity in sharing your knowledge and wealth with those with less income”, the president said.
President Buhari also noted that the simplicity and magnanimity of the entrepreneur, who is among the world’s richest men, had also challenged the culture of obscene wealth display and impulsive spending that had become peculiar to Nigerians.
“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 added.
In his remarks, Zuckerberg said he was impressed by the interest, energy and entrepreneurial spirit displayed by young Nigerians in all the ICT camps 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 said he was in Nigeria to promote the penetration of “fast and cheap” internet connectivity, Express-wifi that would help people create online businesses and alleviate poverty.