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Ambassador Lot Egopija, Consul General of Nigeria in New York, USA

Nigerian Consulate in New York celebrates Children’s Day 2023

His Excellency (Prof.) Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Dr. Philip Ozuah
Mrs. Florence Egopija
UBA America CEO Sola Yomi-Ajayi

Some children cutting a cake at an event to commemorate the 2023 Children’s Day at Nigeria House in New York. Standing behind them are their parents, invited guests and officials of the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York.

By Cecilia Ologunagba

New York, May 29, 2023

The spouses of officials of the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York on Saturday celebrated the 2023 Children’s Day.

The theme for the Day was “Investing in Our Future Means Investing in Our Children.”

The Day, established in 1954 as Universal Children’s Day, has been celebrated since then on different dates in several countries.

It is, however, marked on May 27 in Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the spouses of the officials at the Consulate led by the wife of the Consul General, Mrs. Florence Egopija, organised an event at Nigeria House in New York to commemorate the Day.

Dr Philip Ozuah, the invited speaker at the event, advised the children to work hard in life, saying, “you have to work hard if you want a successful future.’’

Ozuah told the children the story of his humble beginning and how he had studied hard to earn his doctorate degree.

“No matter the obstacle, people can call you names, stand out and work hard to secure your future,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Mrs. Sola Yomi-Ajayi, Executive Director/ Chief Executive Officer, UBA Bank America, urged the children to work hard at their studies, noting that the best way to have a secure future is through education.

Yomi-Ajayi was represented at the event by Mr. Usman Isiaka, Deputy CEO, UBA America.

The speaker quoted the 16th American President, Abraham Lincoln, as saying, “the best way to have a bright future is to create it.”

According to her, education is a passport to the future and the future belongs to those who prepare for it.

Yomi-Ajayi told the children that their future is bright because of the importance the world has placed on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which have education as one of the goals.

“I want to tell you that your future is bright with the collaboration on achieving the SDGs on quality health which also focuses on life expectancy,” she said.

She urged them to be disciplined in life, have confidence in themselves, have strong faith and believe in God as well as shun bad company.

A cross section of children and parents at the event to commemorate the 2023 Children’s Day at Nigeria House in New York.

Similarly, Nigeria Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, said the future is for those who strive to make it great, and children are at the centre.

“We take pride in the achievements of children of our compatriots wherever they may be, and we are not happy when we hear any bad thing associated with any Nigerian.

“Education is important. I have been a teacher since 1980 and I’m still a teacher.

“A teacher is sometimes a student because he can learn from his students, so parents can learn from their children too,’’ he said.

The envoy urged the children to be humble and cooperate with others for them to prosper  in future, saying “you can be a brilliant student, but it will not be useful, if you don’t cooperate with others.”

“You can’t achieve something by yourself so you must cooperate with other Nigerians to do good.

“Also, you must obey your parents, be prayerful and work hard,” he said.

NAN reports that the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija, staff of the Consulate and parents from the Nigerian community attended the event.

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