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Speech on Nigeria Day, 2018: Launching of Excellence in Education Award

by Bedford N. Umez, President the Nigerian Foundation

Fellow Nigerians and Friends,
Good evening! On behalf of The Nigerian Foundation, I welcome you to Nigerian Day, October 5, 2018, honoring Nigerian 58-year Independence Anniversary and the Nigerian Foundation’s 36-year Anniversary. Thank you for honoring our invitation.
I am equally thankful to the entire membership of the Nigerian Foundation (henceforth, our Foundation) for organizing and executing this event. Fellow members, I quite appreciate your usual commitment, devotion and sacrifices for our people in the greater Houston area. Keep it up!
About The Nigerian Foundation
Our Foundation, as most of you know, is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 advocacy and support group, established in 1982, as an umbrella organization of Nigerians in the greater Houston area. The goal is to work for and represent the people of Nigeria in the greater Houston. We take this goal seriously. Accordingly, every Nigerian Day, our Program launches new initiatives and presents accomplished advocacy activities for the benefit of Nigerians in the greater Houston. Consider the following activities:
1. This year, our Foundation joined, as a new initiative, the effort to feed the hungry in Houston through Houston Food Bank. In fact, our Foundation donated a sum of $1000.00 to Houston Food Bank on July 26, 2018 – a donation that fed “3000 people”, according to Houston Food Bank. We will continue this work of charity so long as the Foundation continues to receive support from our community. For details of this donation, kindly visit our website, www.thenigerian.foundation.
2. Our Foundation is launching today, another initiative, an Excellence in Education Award, to our deserving Students. The Award will start next year, 2019, and will continue for years to come provided that the Foundation continues to receive support for this noble effort.
3. As an advocate of Nigerians, on June 8, 2018, our Foundation mailed a Petition signed by 1,307 Nigerians to Nigerian government at home, asking for at least an Honorary Consul General in Houston. This, we believe, will at least provide Passport and Visa services to Nigerians in Houston and nearby cities and States, and eliminate all the hassles and unnecessary expenses currently involved in getting new Nigerian passports and renewing visas. For details of this Petition, visit http://thenigerian.foundation/Petition.html. Additional efforts are on the way to actualize an Honorary Consul General of Nigeria in Houston.
4. Again, as an advocacy group, the Foundation continues to foil attempts of the few Nigerians fraudulently enriching themselves at the expense of unsuspecting Nigerians in the name of “Passport Service Intervention” in Houston and its environs. As you all remember, the Foundation foiled extortion attempt (July 1-3, 2018) by a few Nigerians claiming to come from the Nigerian Immigration Office at home to charge unsuspecting Nigerians in Houston $220 per adult passport instead of the standard $106, and $191 per child passport instead of $77. This Foundation will continue to block any attempt by anyone to defraud innocent Nigerians in the name of “passport service intervention” in Houston. We cannot, we must not, tolerate exploitation of the many by the few.
Upcoming Foundation’s Initiative in 2019
As our Foundation continues to work and represent the interests of Nigerians in Houston, we must recognize that our chains of academic degrees have yet to earn us meaningful community/national empowerment - the kind of empowerment that will make us more relevant in Houston and the United States politics and economy.
Since we, the “Nigerian immigrants, are the most educated in Houston and the United States,” there is no reason to justify our inconsequential role and position in the grand scheme of things in Houston and the United States. Accordingly, the Foundation will devote its efforts and talents in 2019 to finding workable blueprints that will produce meaningful economic and political empowerment for the community of Nigerians in the great Houston Area.
Your Support is Needed
Ladies and gentlemen, the logic of collective action will never die. We must stand as brothers in brotherhood. We must stand as sisters in sisterhood. Indeed, I totally agree with Gaucho Martin Fierro, one of the great minds of Argentina, that "Brothers should stand by each other, because this is the first law; keep a true bond between you always, at every time – because if you fight among yourselves, you’ll be devoured by those outside”. The Nigerian Foundation is fighting for us all as an advocate group as well as a support group. Kindly support us for the greater good of all Nigerians in Houston. Please support our Excellence in Education initiative.
May God bless you with good health and the wisdom to improve our lives as a community and as a nation.
Leadership is action, not a position,
Professor Bedford N. Umez
President, The Nigerian Foundation

NIGERIAN EMBASSY, WASHINGTON, DC

Address: 3519 International Ct NW, Washington, DC 20008
Phone: (202) 986-8400

NIGERIAN CONSULATE, NEW YORK

Address: 828 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10017
Phone: (212) 808-0301

NIGERIAN CONSULATE, ATLANTA

Address: 8060 Roswell Rd, Atlanta, GA 30350
Phone: (770) 394-6261

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