THE Nigerian community in United States
has lauded the appointment of Bayo
Ogunlesi by U.S. President-elect Donald
Trump into his Economic Advisory Team,
saying it could signal a positive trend for
The Nigerians told the Correspondent of the
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New
York, that Ogunlesi has been an excellent
ambassador for Africa and Nigeria in
Mr Michael Adeniyi, former President of a
Nigerian U.S.-based group, the Organisation
for the Advancement of Nigerians Inc. (OAN
Inc), told NAN that “Bayo Ogunlesi is an
excellent and extraordinary Nigerian.
“He is very humble, brilliant and outstanding
in every way you can think of.
“He has achieved outstanding success in
Wall Street and he’s a proud ambassador of
Africa, which he started in Kings College.
“For him to be appointed into Trump’s
Economic Advisory Team is a honour to
Africa and especially to Nigeria. He will add
value to the Trump’s team and he’s worthy
“Prior to his appointment, Bayo Ogunlesi has
been a pride of Africa; he reached the
pinnacle of his career in Walls Street
through his company which he built from the
scratch. He is a round peg in a round hole.”
Another Nigerian, Prof. Yetunde Odugbesan-
Omede, a professor of Global Affairs and
Political Science, at Rutgers University and
Farmingdale State College, said Ogunlesi has
all it takes to contribute to a positive
American economic outlook
“Mr Ogunlesi has an impressive background
and will be able to add his perspective and
vast knowledge on how to move America
forward that will yield positive economic
Odugbesan-Omede, however, said it was too
early to say if the appointment would have
any impact on Nigeria.
“It is too early to determine or come to a
conclusion at this moment on whether Mr
Ogunlesi’s role will have any impact on
Nigeria’s foreign and economic policy.
“I hope that Mr Ogunlesi will provide
guidance on improving both economic and
political U.S.-Nigeria relations,” Odugbesan-
Spokesperson for the Permanent Mission of
Nigeria to the UN, Pastor Akinremi Bolaji,
said Ogunlesi’s appointment was a positive
development for Nigeria and Africa.
“I am not speaking for the Nigerian
diplomatic community because I am not in
the position to do so; it for the Embassy in
Washington to do.
“Speaking as a Nigerian, it is a good
indication and positive development for
Africa and Nigeria that we are among the
best brains everywhere.
“It is also to show you that one in every five
Blacks is a Nigerian. It is a good indication
for our economic and foreign policy.
“It also shows that Africa and Nigeria have
good ambassadors everywhere. Ogunlesi has
to see himself as a representative of the
Black race as the only Black man that made
the list by further distinguishing himself.
“I advise him to use his opportunity well and
he should bring together people of integrity
who will not smear his integrity.”
Bolaji said the younger generation has a lot
to learn from his distinction, adding
“journalists have a lot to do to tell us how
he was able to weather the storm and got
“It also shows that the best economic brains
are scattered everywhere in Nigeria. We
have the Dangotes in the North, Jim Ovias
and Tony Elumelus in the East and South
South and Otedola in the West, and now
“If we put our house together, we have
people all over the world and at home who
have all it takes for us to succeed,” Bolaji
NAN recalls that Ogunlesi, who is the
chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners, a
private equity firm and one of Fortune 500
companies, was named a member of an
economic advisory forum to Trump.
The 63-year-old Nigerian is the only African
face in the 16-man team.
“President-elect Donald J. Trump today
announced that he is establishing the
President’s Strategic and Policy Forum,”
said a press release from Blackstone
published by Business Insider.
The Forum, which is composed of some of
America’s most highly respected and
successful business leaders, will be called
upon to meet with the president frequently
to share their specific experience and
knowledge as the president implements his
plan to bring back jobs and ‘Make America
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