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“Nigeria faces many challenges in the areas of good governance, economic growth, sustainable development, erratic power generation, non-functionary public health and education system from primary school to the university levels,” Ambassador Terence McCulley said.

“But you have the power to change this. Only you and your fellow Nigerians can define what a democratic, prosperous, and healthy Nigeria will look like, and I am convinced that the decisions of today’s youth, your decisions, will determine whether or not Nigeria will address these challenges and set this nation on a new course. You represent the political majority in this country.”

Mr. McCulley noted that Nigeria has a “premier military force” and the “greatest potential” for agricultural development in the region.

“We know that the women of Nigeria are as capable of economic and political success as men in this country. And we know that corruption destroys the nation’s confidence and undermines the very notion of public service,” he said.

Mr. McCulley predicted that Nigeria also will attract billions of dollars in foreign investment as soon as it demonstrates a “solid commitment to the rule of law.”

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email The column is published on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.