By Busayo Onijala, Lagos.
The City of Washington D.C., United States of America, has proclaimed Oct. 1 as Nigerian-American Day, in celebration of Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Day anniversary.
The proclamation was made in a statement by the Mayor of Washington D.C., Muriel Bowser.
Bowser said the District of Columbia had one of the largest Nigerian immigrant populations in the U.S., adding that Washington D.C. residents saluted the contributions of Nigerian-Americans as civic leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs.
According to her, Nigerian music and arts, particularly Afro beats and Nollywood, enrich the cultural economy and strengthen cultural ties.
“The Nigerian Centre, an immigrant and cultural centre in Washington D.C., provides a platform for the African diaspora to learn about their Nigerian heritage and expands pathways for recently arrived Nigerian immigrants to become Nigerian-Americans.
“The city’s Office on African Affairs works with the Nigerian Centre to foster economic inclusion and advancement and to promote Nigerian culture,” Bowser said.
The Nigerian Centre is the first immigrant and cultural centre for the Nigerians diaspora in the U.S.
It was established to connect to the Nigerian culture, while offering financial inclusion and social justice opportunities for members of the Nigerian-American community in the U.S.
The centre also curated cultural programmes for first-generation Nigerian-Americans and supported newly arrived immigrants.
Also, the Nigerian Centre is opening a walk-in immigration clinic in Washington, D.C. for community members who require legal assistance regarding immigration and naturalisation.
The centre and several community organisations serving the Nigerian-American community will announce the opening on Oct. 4.