The Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE) presented its Leadership Service Award 2020 to His Excellency Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, the Ambassador of the Federal Republic Nigeria to Germany, on Monday, 1 February 2021.
The award is in recognition of the envoy’s “excellent and outstanding personal achievements and leadership” and his “immense contributions to National Development”.
While presenting the award at a brief ceremony, which took place in the Nigerian chancery in Berlin, Hon Kenneth Gbandi, the immediate past chairman of NIDOE, praised Ambassador Tuggar for “the successful facilitation” of the Siemens-Nigeria agreement on the Nigerian Electrification Roadmap, which when fully implemented would help “resolve existing challenges in the power sector of the country”.
Responding the ambassador thanked NIDOE for honouring him. “I am truly humbled,” he said, adding that he considered the group a worthy organisation with which he was proud to associate.
Alhaji Tuggar praised NIDOE for its commitment to national development and expressed its admiration for Nigerian professionals who are making notable contributions even to the development of Germany.
The ambassador spoke on the Nigeria-Siemens deal, which he said would create a lot of opportunities for both Nigerian and German companies and go a long way to solve some of the problems facing his country’s power sector.
Many projects will be implemented under the $2-billion Power deal to boost Nigeria’s power distribution capacity. These include the upgrading of 105 substations, construction of 70 new substations, installation of 35 new power transformers, laying of 5,109 kilometres of distribution lines and installation of 3,765 distribution transformers in different parts of Nigeria.
The ambassador also spoke about his efforts on the Kano-Maradi, Kano-Dutse railway project, which will link the northern Nigerian city of Kano with Niger’s Maradi.
Hon Tuggar said the project, worth nearly $2 billion and to be implemented by Portugal’s largest civil engineering company Mota-Engil, would boost economic activities in the north-western region of the country.
“It’s a project that the Nigerian Embassy in Germany worked on to the successful completion of negotiations,” he revealed.
“We engaged the German government to support the project as it would discourage irregular migration from Nigeria. And they bought into our argument.”
Mota-Engil will build a university in Daura as part of the project, whose construction is expected to be flagged off next week.
The ambassador said his efforts since assuming office had been focused on increased German-Nigerian economic engagement to address the development challenges facing his country.
He also talked about his activities agitating for the return of cultural goods taken from Nigeria illegally by the British and which are now in the possession of German museums and private collectors.
Gbandi was accompanied to the event by Femi Awoniyi and Obiora Nweke, General Secretary and Project Officer of NIDO Germany, respectively.
The Leadership Service Award 2020 was bestowed on outstanding Nigerians, including former President Goodluck Jonathan, at last year’s Annual General Meeting of NIDOE which held concurrently with the Nigerian Global Diaspora Development Summit (11-14 November 2020). Ambassador Tuggar was unavoidably absent at the event which is why the Monday ceremony was held to present the award to him.
Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE), comprising 23 chapters in 21 countries, is the European arm of the Nigerian global Diaspora network NIDO.