The Nigeria Ambassador to Guinea Bissau, Mr John Usanga, says there is no record of any Nigerian in any prison in Guinea Bissau.
The Envoy disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of the inauguration of a newly constructed Nigeria Chancery building in Bissau, the capital of Guinea Bissau.
Usanga said official record of Nigerians living in Guinea Bissau was more than 1,500 of the total population of about 1.9 million in that country.
According to him, most Nigerians living in Guinea Bissau are into trading and related enterprises and they are doing well and are law abiding.
“Nigerians in Guinea Bissau are bringing the Nigerian spirit into this country by trying to be exploratory, enterprising and hard working. These are virtues that Nigerians are known for.
“You will see a lot of young people here succeeding in their businesses and doing very well
“The opportunities are enormous and our
people have the resilience to work to the extent that some people here find it difficult to understand how they get the zeal,” he said.
On the opportunities available in Guinea Bissau, the Envoy said people can invest in trading, education, agriculture, health facilities infrastructure and tourism.
“For any enterprising Nigerians that want to come to invest in Guinea Bissau, trade and investment is a good opportunity because naturally there are so much of goods and products that we produce in Nigeria that they do not have here.
“You will be surprised to hear that most missions here do their bulk shoppings in the Gambia, a neighbouring country.
“If any Nigerian will set up a good business in trading, agriculture, fishing, tourism and culture is bound to succeed.
“We have identified some areas where Nigerians can come in and we are going to articulate and push it forward so that people can know the opportunities where they can venture into.
“My position has always been that, rather than our youths going to where they will become slaves, they can come here and set up small businesses that they can give time and nurture to grow.
“The land is fertile, they have a lot of cashews which is their major export product being exploited by people that are not within the ECOWAS region and they are making a lot from it.
“They have so much fish and there are lots of opportunities in education,” he said.
While shedding light on investment in the education sector, Usanga said there were no English speaking schools in Guinea Bissau beyond the elementary school being run by NGOs and faith based organisations.
According to Usanga, lot of people in Guinea Bissau are anxious to learn English language because ECOWAS carries out its businesses in French and English.
“Here in Guinea Bissau, they speak Portuguese and Creole but their belief is that for the full integration of any country into ECOWAS, such country need to understand French or English,” he said.
Usanga said potential investors in Guinea Bissau could also explore the health sector as there were few hospitals and dental clinics in that country
On his message to Nigerians, Usanga said “although the country is facing challenges, we cannot invalidate its greatness in Africa and among comity of nations”.
He said Nigeria had made so much sacrifices to ensure other African countries lived in peace
He urged the people to keep hope alive, not to despair in their expectations and do their beats in moving the country forward.
Mr Festus Etor, the President of the Nigerian Community in Guinea Bissau corroborated the Ambassador that there was no record of any Nigerian in Guinea Bissau’s prisons.
“Our people are hard working and God fearing engaging in their lawful businesses and that is why we do not have a single Nigeria in any cell or detention in Guinea Bissau.
“Among the Nigerians that we have here are educationist who have their private schools, business men that bring goods from Nigeria like spare parts, cooking items and some that import foreign drinks from Portugal to Guinea Bissau,” he said.
Etor said the major challenge they are facing is lack of connectivity which is affecting the transportation of their goods to Guinea Bissau by air or sea.
“We also have the challenge of good schools for our children but we thank God some Nigerians are coming to open schools and they are teaching English in their schools.
“For instance, we have the Deeper Life Secondary School here, Redeemed International Learning Academy which are operating in the country now,” he said.
For Nigerians who want to come to Guinea Bissau, Etor said there were opportunities in the teaching profession, nursing, medical , especially for those who want to set up their own hospitals.