MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Yinka Tella, Ed.D.
March 26, 2015
With more than 177 million, Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country. It is inhabited by more than 250 ethnic groups, including the Hausa and Fulani (29%), Yoruba (21%), Igbo (18%), Ijaw (10%), Kanuri (4%), Ibibio (3.5%), and the Tiv (2.5%). English is the official language although Nigeria boasts of more than 500 indigenous languages, including Hausa, Yoruba, Ijaw, Itsekiri, Edo and Igbo.
Nigeria, the world’s 12th largest producer of oil in the world, is the 8th largest exporter of the product for which it has the 10th largest proven reserves. Revenue from oil routinely accounts for about 40% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP) and 80% of Government earnings. Last year, Nigeria's GFP became the largest in Africa, worth more than $500 billion, after the economy was rebased.
Remittances from about 18 million Nigerians in the diaspora, about 12% of whom are United States-based, constitute the country’s second largest source of income. In 2007 Nigerian Americans accounted for much of the $17.9 billion (about 6.7% of GDP) remitted to the homeland, followed in pecking order by their counterparts in the United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, Spain and France, according to data from the International Organization for Migration.
As Nigerian Americans, we have the responsibility of caring for our extended families at home in addition to investing in the local economy to facilitate economic development, hence the high level of remittances. To keep up the momentum, however, we need to hone our skills and become more empowered economically and politically with the American firmament. The Nigerian American Foundation (NAF) intends to be a more proactive actor in creating the enabling environment for our community to prosper and earn the respect that we deserve.
We have a number of programs lined up to harness the innate energy, creativity and talents of our people for a more consequential presence in South Florida. We have the NAF Forum, the annual NAF Lecture, Health and Beauty Exhibition, Teenage Summer Camp, Group Life Insurance, the Naija Spelling Bee. All-Nigeria Cultural Day, annual Independence Commemoration Gala Night and sundry volunteer activities locally and in our homeland.
To make our organization more inclusive, we have launched an aggressive recruitment and email mining drive as well as an initiative to amend our constitution to make it reflective and inclusive of all components of the 2000 plus strong Nigerian community in South Florida.
While you will learn about various components of our agenda on this website and other media, we invite you to be part of the change we seek: A strong and respected Nigerian voice in the tri-county area of South Florida, a thriving, unified and progressive community that is culturally aware, professionally and economically equipped, and politically potent. You can do that by becoming a member or donating towards our numerous projects and causes. Together we can make our community strong and impactful at home and abroad.
Yinka Tella, Ed.D.
President, Nigerian American Foundation (NAF)
WE ARE ALL ABOUT
- Reaching Out
- Building Bridges
- Strengthening Community Relations
- Educating and Informing
- Providing Assistance and Support