Assessing Nigeria’s foreign policy evolution since independence Assessing Nigeria’s foreign policy evolution since independencePresident Muhammad Buhari By Mark Longyen, News Agency of Nigeria Analysts are of the view that since gaining political independence from Britain on Oct. 1, 1960, Nigeria’s foreign policy has evolved under different past administrations with notable consistency of Africa as its centerpiece.
They note that, since independence, Nigeria’s foreign policy has been conducted by successive governments in a manner that demonstrated varying distinctive priorities and style within a broad conceptual framework, without a marked departure at any point from its Afro-centric focus.
Many are of the view that the nation’s foreign policy implementation, its decision making and direction have, by and large, been deliberately anchored, formulated, tailored, and predicated by its policy architects on the basis of the nation’s overall national interest and Africa centeredness.
The predominant preoccupation of Nigeria’s foreign policy in the immediate two post-independence decades, for instance, they say, was African solidarity, the decolonisation of all African countries that were still under colonial rule, and the war against Apartheid in South Africa, among others.
In all of these, Nigeria clearly demonstrated exemplary leadership in Africa and its status as the Giant of Africa, by using multiple platforms of multilateral organisations, of which she is a member to pursue her foreign policy aims, goals and objectives – with astonishing results.
While the Afrocentric focus forms the inner core of the nation’s foreign policy, experts are of consensus view that Nigeria’s membership and involvement in global organisations constitutes the outer core of the nation’s foreign policy focus.
To this end, they say, Nigeria played an active role in the formation in 1963 of the defunct Organisation of African Unity, OAU, now Africa Union (AU) and also in the formation of the sub-regional economic bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1975, which has its permanent headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
They also note that the outer core focus of Nigeria’s foreign policy has over the past 62 years ensured that she pursued her national interests through her active involvement in the affairs of international organisations or playing key roles in their affairs.
Similarly, upon becoming an independent nation-state, Nigeria joined the British Commonwealth of Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the United Nations (UN), and its multiple agencies globally, where she played, and is still playing key roles in their activities.
Nigeria has continued to pursue such foreign policy interests through her membership of, and participation in, global organisations like the UN, the Commonwealth, the defunct OAU (now AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with tremendous successes.
A Fawole, a foreign policy analyst and professor of International Relations, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, while reinforcing the Afrocentric stance of Nigeria’s foreign policy, said that no significant change had taken place to warrant any school of thought that there has been a shift from Afrocentricism.
According to him, 62 years since independence, the conduct of Nigeria’s foreign policy has been in such a manner that it continues to play a leading and stabilising role on the continent of Africa.
“All in all, Nigeria’s Afrocentric bend remains.
“President Buhari was made the continent’s anti-corruption leader because of the reputation he had sustained over the decades.
“But what needs to be understood is that virtually all the issues that stood Nigeria out in the past, that is, opposition to apartheid, decolonisation, African unity, etc.
, have all been settled and now replaced with new ones.
“Overall, I think domestic circumstances like pervasive insecurity, separatist agitations, weakening economic capacity, collapsing naira, official corruption have combined to vitiate a dynamic foreign policy,” he said.
Prof Fawole, however, noted that Nigeria’s recent showing at the African Union was less than stellar as it lost a high-profile election to the most pivotal organ of the AU by putting forward the wrong candidate, although it was later able to regain composure.
Corroborating Fawole’s view, Associate Prof. Efem Ubi, Director of Research, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, (NIIA) noted that since independence to date, Nigeria has continued to focus on its Africa-centered foreign policy.
According to him, when Buhari came to power over seven years ago, he set out to once again take Nigeria’s leading position in Africa.
He said that this was done with some form of successes, even though minimal, especially in the efforts towards stemming the scourge of terrorism and other forms of insecurity in Nigeria.
He said, “This is showcased in the role that Nigeria under Buhari and other ECOWAS member states played in upholding with sacrosanct, democracy in Africa to resolve The Gambia’s election crisis, the coup crisis in Mali and other places, etc.
“President Buhari immediately on assumption of office visited different nations ranging from Nigeria’s immediate neighbors, the West African sub-region,and the continent at large, to harness international concerted efforts towards mitigating the challenges of terrorism.
“Buhari started well by getting the affected neighbouring countries, Niger Republic, Cameroon and Chad to put more efforts through the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to tackle the problem and his approach initially yielded fruits.
” The NIIA Director of Research described Nigeria’s foreign policy under the current dispensation as a tripartite foreign, policy posture, which revolves around three thematic issues; namely, the fight against corruption, insecurity, and economic development.
He argued that Nigeria under the current administration has exceedingly upheld Nigeria’s foreign policy tenets, irrespective of the odds, adding that Buhari did not after all inherit a rosy and healthy nation in 2015. On his part, Dr Salami Olawale of the Department of History and Diplomatic Studies, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, however, sees economic diplomacy, which was popularised by the Babangida military regime in 1988 as the major lynchpin of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
Olawale noted that, in spite of the lofty intentions of economic diplomacy under the Babangida administration, the global response to Nigeria’s economic diplomacy was not as enthusiastic as the Nigerian government had envisaged.
He attributed the shortcomings of the administration’s economic diplomacy to the inconsistent and incoherent domestic policies, lack of infrastructural facilities and insincerity in government circles, leading to massive corruption in high places.
“In the face of these problems, the attitude of foreign investors was not surprising, as various global investors had to re-design their strategies in the face of rampaging globalisation.
“The ‘new’ economic diplomacy was also expected to encourage Nigerian business groups to shop for partners and then invest more both at home and abroad, but this was not to be, as they preferred, just like their friends in governments, to own property in choice areas of western countries.
“Even the state sponsored attempt, through the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation (NNPC), to shop around the world for petroleum-related investment outlets, did not produce significant results,” he said.
Olawale, therefore, concluded that the failure of the Nigerian state in all ramifications and the conspiracy and hostility of the international environment, combined to frustrate the lofty ideas contained in Babangida’s economic diplomacy.
He, however, said that for the Nigerian state to fully realise its great potentials for the benefit of the people, the managers of the country should have a change of attitude and put ‘Nigeria first’ in all respects.
“The government at all levels and individuals should be fully involved in the fight against corruption, which has become a malignant tumour in the medulla of an average Nigerian.
“At the level of the economy, the government should encourage the industrial class and not the merchant class, to produce more goods at home, as it is on their shoulders that the realisation of government’s international economic objectives rest.
“It is in search of relevance in the international environment and in the continuation of the actualisation of its Afrocentric policy, that Nigeria, leading other West African states, ventured into the Liberian crisis, to build peace and restore democratic governance,” he added.
Although it was in June 1988 that economic diplomacy was officially adopted as a major plank of Nigeria’s foreign policy, Nigeria’s contemporary foreign policy under the Buhari administration also adopted it 30 years after.
Since 1960, successive Nigerian governments have demonstrated an appreciation of the linkage between the country’s foreign policy and economic circumstances, hence, in the first 25 years after independence, that is, from 1960 to 1985, there were overlapping patterns or strands of strategies that emerged in the history of Nigeria’s economic diplomacy In officially adopting economic diplomacy as a major plank in its foreign policy initiatives, the Buhari administration unveiled the National Economic Diplomacy Initiative (NEDI) in 2018, which underscores the continuity and consistency in Nigeria’s foreign policy.
Ubi is of the view that the economic diplomacy initiative of the Buhari administration emerged in response to the inherited daunting domestic socio- economic challenges before the country.
He said NEDI was also designed to leverage on Nigeria’s bilateral and multilateral trade engagements with other countries to accelerate domestic growth and development.
It was also informed by the need to realise the lofty targets of regional economic integration as embellished in the ideals of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement, AFCFTA.
Nigeria’s signing of AFCFTA, which is projected to become the world’s second largest free trade area is a remarkable stride in Nigeria’s contemporary foreign policy’s economic diplomacy.
AFCFTA provides opportunities to exploit new frontiers and reach larger markets with Nigerian exports of manufactured goods and services.
The cornerstone of AFCFTA is the promotion of industrialization, sustained growth and development in Africa.
It is projected to boost intra-African trade, stimulate investment and innovation, foster structural transformation, and improve food security.
AFCFTA is also projected to enhance economic growth and export diversification, and rationalise the overlapping trade regimes of the main regional economic communities.
Nigeria has also signed a number of bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding with some African and non-African countries aimed at strengthening its relations with them and driving Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the country.
Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, summed up Nigeria’s contemporary foreign policy when he spoke with journalists on the sidelines of the just concluded 77th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. According to the minister, Nigeria is now highly respected and appreciated by the international community due to the repositioning of the country “as a bastion of democracy” by President Buhari in the past seven years.
“We have been able to gain respect for Nigeria and secure Nigeria’s place as an important partner and player at the multilateral level.
“In seven years, President Buhari has showcased Nigeria as a champion of good governance and an important partner in the African sub-region and beyond.
“We have been praised for the role we played in ensuring that democracy survived in The Gambia as well as in pushing for peace in the West African sub-region.
“We have been successful in areas, such as getting through resolutions of the UN on illicit financial flows, which we could not achieve for many years,” the minister said.
“We have been seen as a champion for nuclear disarmament and a nuclear-free world because we were very active in those areas.
“During this period, we have been at the forefront of actions to push for global justice and peace, advocating justice for the oppressed in the world.
“The centrepiece of the event for us was the national statement by the president, which was very well received,” he said.
Onyeama explained that President Buhari touched on sensitive national, regional and global issues when he addressed the UN General Assembly.
He disclosed that the country’s delegation had a good mix of bilateral meetings with other countries, as well as engaged with the private sector.
Analysts are, therefore, of the view that Nigeria’s foreign policy as conducted by successive administrations since independence in 1960, has been consistently dominated by an enduring Afrocentric focus, as well as the benefits of economic diplomacy to achieve the country’s overall national interest’s aims, goals and objectives.
(NANFeatures) If used please credit the News Agency of Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday left New York for Abuja, after a successful conclusion of an eventful outing at 77th session high-level meetings of the UN General Assembly.
The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that President Buhari participated in no fewer than 12 High level events, including bilateral meetings.
The Nigerian President who arrived New York on Sept. 18 attended the opening of Transforming Education Summit on Monday, Sept 19 ahead of the General Debate and attended Leaders Roundtable segment of the Summit where he delivered Nigeria’s statement.
Still on Transforming Education Summit, the President spoke to the thematic session four: digital transformation of Education where he pledged inclusive digital learning for students in Nigeria.
On Tuesday, the President attended the opening of the UN General Debate in the company of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.
Others were the Chief of Staff the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Shamsuna-Ahmed and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq.
On Wednesday, Buhari was the first speaker to deliver Nigeria’s statement to the world leaders, assuring them of leaving lasting legacies and restated commitment to Constitutional term.
In his farewell reflection, he told the global body that his administration was determined to entrench a process of free, fair, transparent and credible elections through which Nigerians would elect their leaders.
On Thursday, Buhari reiterated Nigeria’s strong commitment to energy transition Plan to address climate change at a Leaders’ Closed-Door Meeting on Climate Change convened by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres.
On Friday, the Nigerian leader inaugurated the Integrated National Financing Framework Report on Sustainable Development (NIFF), and attended a High-Level side event on ”Food Security Response: Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Securing Asset Returns for Sustainable Development’ He also attended an event hosted by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, entitled ”Strengthening Resilience and Sustaining Development: A Humanitarian Development Peace Approach to Leaving No One Behind.
” Same on Friday, Buhari held bilateral talks with Prime Minister of Ireland, Micheal Martin, where he discussed the renewed efforts of the Nigerian military to address insecurity in the country.
Wrapping up his engagement on Saturday, he held a town hall meeting with Nigerians residing in New York, where he commended Nigerians living in the U.
S. for the exemplary roles in their different fields of endeavour.
NAN reports that the Nigerian delegation participated in other high-level events such as Africa’s New Public Health Order: Rejuvenating the Global Health Security Agenda and High Level Meeting on Multilateralism.
In addition, the delegation attended UN High-Level meeting to mark the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistics.
The delegation, made up of 15 ministers, seven governors and some heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), also attended other events.
Similarly, the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Buhari, organised a side event under the auspices of the African First Ladies’ Peace Mission (AFLPM) with the theme “The Role of Young Women and Girls in Advancing Peace and Security: Promoting a Culture of Peace in Fragile Settings’’.
At the event, Aisha Buhari, the President of AFLPM, advocated mandatory inclusion of peace education in curriculum of basic education of schools in Africa to promote the culture of peace in the continent.
The General Debates, which started on Tuesday, Sept. 20 with the theme: “Watershed moment: transformative solutions to interlocking challenges,’’ is expected to end on Tuesday, Sept. 27. No fewer than 150 leaders attended the gathering, which is the first fully in-person session since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. Nigeria has been a member of the UN since 1961 and has been participating in various General Assembly activities since then.
The UN General Assembly is the most representative and most visible organ of the United Nations where all the 193-member states have equal representation.
The Assembly is also one of the six principal organs of the UN, the main deliberative and policy-making organ of the United Nations.
Its powers are to oversee the budget of the UN, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council and appoint the Secretary-General of the UN.
It also receives reports from other parts of the UN and make recommendations in the form of Resolutions, as well as establish numerous subsidiary organs.
Some governors who are part of the Nigerian delegation at the ongoing 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly have reaffirmed the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to uphold rule of law.
The governors are Simon Lalong of Plateau; AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara; Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State, Babagana Zulum of Borno and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara.
The correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports that the governors had accompanied the President to deliver his statement to the General Assembly.
Also, Buhari was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and some top political leaders to deliver his address.
The governors reaffirmed his commitment to constitutional term limits and Nigeria’s efforts to promote rule of law and democracy in West Africa.
The governors cited the country’s support for The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Chad during their political impasses, as an affirmation of his commitment to ensuring stability in the West African subregion.
(Right) Simon Lalong of Plateau State; Babajide Sanwoolu of Lagos State, Babagana Zulum of Borno State; Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State and AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State 77th Session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday at UN headquarters in New York. Reacting to Buhari’s statement, Gov. Lalong, told newsmen at UN headquarters in New York that Mr President would not fail in his pledge of delivering fair and fair elections.
“My take on that is knowing Mr President, he is talking about free and fair election, not only free and fair election but working within the rules.
“Working within the rules means that next year, he’s going to leave office, there will be an election, and there will be a new leadership in Nigeria.
“As you can see from the text of the message, he said, he is not the type that will come and change the rule halfway to ensure that he will continue in office,’’ he said.
Lalong said he had worked with the President for so long and that he would keep to his promise.
“I know that what he said is really coming out from his heart that there will be free and fair election.
“And there will also be new leadership.
And he will also leave after his eight years,’’ he said.
Gov. AbdulRazaq said the President spoke about the fact that he would be leaving the office and that he has entrenched democracy, and how this will be his last visit to the address the global community.
“The address was such that he dealt on the issues affecting the world, post COVID, global food security, issues in Eastern Europe, Democracy in Africa, truncation of democracies in Africa, and how we’re consolidating in Nigeria,’’ he said.
According to him, he is leaving the stage and he intends to conduct a free and fair election in Nigeria for posterity.
“Well, we all know the President, he is very straightforward in his dealings with others.
“In the last meeting with the governors of the All Progressive Congress (APC) when the APC had its presidential candidate, he told us clearly that it’s going to be a fair elections and he expects INEC to do a good job.
“So, meaning that there’ll be no manipulation and he asked us to go and work hard towards the elections, make sure we secure our states and deliver APC at all levels.
” On the impact this will have on the election, AbdulRazaq said: “Well, like he the next Nigerian president to that would address the assembly will not him.
“So, it shows you that he spoke basically about elongation of tenure in several countries and that that will not happen in Nigeria.
“That democracy has come to stay.
So we’re looking forward to sustaining his legacy.
” On his part, Gov. Sanwolu said: “The points that I’ve taken away from there, is how despite COVID and all the things have happened to us last year, that we stood out in the community of nations.
“And how Nigeria even helped countries suffering around Africa, you know, in West African regions, that have suffered disruptions and military coups and the rest of it and how toes up to mitigate and to help stabilize countries in Africa.
“He did took very strong lines to end his speech, which I believe that indeed he has earned his pay as Nigeria’s President at the General Assembly.
” On his reaffirming his commitment to the general elections, the Lagos governor said: For someone to everyone said that by this time next year, he is certain that there will be another President.
He said there would be another President that would be presenting Nigeria’s statement at the 78th General Assembly, noting that this fact goes to show that he wants to conduct a free and fair election come next year.
” Similarly, Gov. Zulum, reiterated the governors view that Buhari would conduct credible elections in Nigeria under its leadership.
“He also said that “inshallah” by next year, a new president will be elected and will be here to address the General Assembly.
So, this is an indication that the President is willing to ensure stable democracy in Nigeria.
” Also, Gov. Matawalle, said Mr President in his statement talked about the issue of credible elections next year.
Matawalle said those that are saying the President, or the government is not serious, or they have no confidence in the electoral process, he has said it here in United States.
“So, that can give more confidence to the people that Mr. President is going to conduct a credible election in Nigeria,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari and some Nigerian political leaders were among world leaders that attended the opening of the General Debate of the 77th UN General Assembly on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Buhari was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.
Others were the Chief of Staff the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Shamsuna-Ahmed and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Umar Farouq.
No fewer than 150 world leaders are attending the largest diplomatic gathering after two years of virtual and hybrid summits.
On Wednesday, Buhari will be the first speaker to address the General Assembly, which is the second day of the General Debate.
He will deliver Nigeria’s statement around 9 a.
m. (around 2 p.
m. Nigerian time) to other world leaders during the morning session.
Buhari will also attend the meeting of the Committee of African Heads of State and Governments on Climate Change and that of Africa’s New Public Health Order on: Rejuvenating global health security agenda.
The Nigerian president will also attend a reception by the U.
S.A’s President Joe Biden at the American Museum of Natural History.
On Thursday, the president is expected to attend a bilateral meeting on Nigeria’s International Economic Partnership Forum and High-Level meetings on the Sahel.
He will attend the Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Governments.
On Friday, he will attend a high level breakfast meeting on Reinvigorating Multilateralism and Achieving Comprehensive Reform of the UN Security Council.
Also on Friday, Buhari he will attend the official launch of Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, has donated a 12-classroom block and lockup plastic desks and seats to St. Paul’s College, Eke in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Onyeama, who made the donation on Saturday, also said that plans had been concluded to build a state-of-the-art library and centre for technology in the area.
The minister said that the gesture was his way of giving back to society through his pet project, Kwusike Foundation.
He said that he was touched by the deplorable condition of the classroom blocks in the school, adding that it was his desire to help his people by promoting education in the state.
“Education is very important.
Therefore, we have to see that our children are educated and get jobs.
As we plan to retire we need to prepare those coming behind us.
“We already have the opportunity to attract a technology centre and library through our partners,” he said.
Onyeama said that his desire was to expose the people of the area to opportunities that would make them lead more rewarding lives.
The minister said that though his priority was to ensure that the people of the area got the needed education which he described as very important to a successful life, “but we will go beyond that.
“Employment is difficult but that will not stop us from doing what we will do.
We are going to do more for our people.
“We will be out of government by next year but I have a foundation which I will use to give back to society,” he said.
On the 2023 general elections, Onyeama said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was fired up to do more for Nigerians.
The minister said that the APC was very prepared for the election, adding that he was very optimistic that the party would retain power at the federal level and also do well in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the plastic desks and chairs were 300 pieces each.
The Jamaican High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Esmond St. Reid, says his country is keen on strengthening ties with Nigeria in health, tourism, culture, trade and business development sectors among others.
Reid made this known during the commemoration of the 60th Independence Anniversary of Jamaica in Abuja.
Reid said that Nigeria and Jamaica had enjoyed good diplomatic relations over the years and that Jamaica looked forward to expanding the relations to deepen the ties between both countries.
“Even as we celebrate this Diamond Jubilee, we are immensely grateful for the partnerships and the adverse areas of cooperation we have enjoyed with countries and international organisations around the World.
“We have a special bond with the Federal Republic of Nigeria and our collective history and culture extend over 400 years.
“It is not surprising therefore that Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama was in Jamaica this week as our special guest, helping us to mark 184 years of emancipation and our transitional to political independence.
“We look forward to renewed areas of cooperation with Nigeria in health, tourism, culture, trade and business development, among others in the years ahead,” Reid said.
Congratulating the Citizens of Jamaica, Reid said that Jamaicans both within and outside the country had contributed to the country and also their host countries.
“Our celebrations today will not be complete if we failed to acknowledge the tremendous contributions of the Jamaican Diaspora.
“Jamaicans can be found in every corner of the globe and have demonstrated leadership and excellence in the development of their adopted countries.
“Prime Minister Holness has noted that our Diaspora members play a critical role in promoting Brand Jamaica and are crucial partners and drivers of Jamaica’s economic development,” Reid said.
In his remarks, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, congratulated Jamaica for the successful commemoration of its Diamond Jubilee, pledging Nigeria’s commitments to sustain the diplomatic ties between both countries.
Onyeama who was represented by Mr Tunde Mustapha, Director Regions in the ministry, said that both countries were binded by similarities in rich culture, a sector that must be effectively harnessed in both countries.
“I bring warm greetings from the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and from my Honourable Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama who is not present here.
“He was in Jamaica during the week on the invitation of the Prime Minister top celebrate the independence Anniversary.
“The fact that the minister personally attended the occasion is a testimony of the very cordial bilateral relations between the two countries.
“We are essentially one people historically and culturally though now separated by long distance.
The distance cannot keep us apart because we are determined to continue to bind our countries and people together politically, economically, culturally and in a sphere of human endeavors.
Nigeria is committed to strengthening its bond with Jamaica and other countries of the world.
“We are committed to the principle of peaceful coexistence, non-aggression, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations,” Onyeama said.
Dean of Diplomatic Corp in Nigeria and High Commissioner of Cameroon to Nigeria, Salla-Hedine Ibrahim, on behalf of the diplomatic corps in Nigeria also congratulated Jamaica for its achievements as a nation at 60. “I stand here in the name of the diplomatic corps in Nigeria and thank you for inviting us to celebrate with you on the independence of Jamaica.
“Jamaica is known by all of us, all of us know reggae.
No body across the world can say he has not danced reggae.
Usain Bolt is a model to our youths all over the world,” The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Jamaica gained its independence from the United Kingdom on Aug. 6, 1962. (NAN ) (
The Nigeria Union South Africa (NUSA) has said that many issues affecting Nigerians in that country are already being addressed by Mr Andrew Idi, the countryImageTitleSummaryCategoriesAuthorDatecategories_hfilter‘s new Consul General.
President of the union Mr Collins Mgbo revealed this in a statement sent to the News Agency of Nigeria from Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Mgbo expressed the union’s appreciations to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chief Executive Officer, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, among others, for the efforts they are making to tackle their problems.
He acknowledged the speed and urgency with which Idi began to address pending issues affecting Nigerians in the southern African country within the short period he assumed duty.
“One of such issues is the xenophobic sentiment against foreign nationals.
The consul general had met with the law enforcement agencies to discuss how to solve the problem and so far xenophobia has reduced significantly.
“The new consul general has resolved the issue of excessive charges that Nigerians complained about during the tenure of the previous administration in the consulate and has removed all the charges within a short period of time.
“He has resolved the issue of passport racketeerng that was the order of the day at the consulate general’s office in Johannesburg and brought dignity back to the consulate,’’ the NUSA president said.
“Idi has been a blessing to the community since his arrival; he has attended to all the cases that affect Nigerians from province to province, week to week and has on many occasions provided financial support to Nigerians desperately in need.
“The new consul general has proven that Nigerians can be proud in a foreign country.
We are aware that groups of individuals are trying to tarnish his image already because they can no longer do as they wish at the consulate.
“But we can assure the Federal Government and Nigerians in South Africa that we are in good hands and we believe that it will continue to be better,” he added.
Mgbo noted that the much that Idi had achieved so far, showed that he is the right man for the job and that the decision of the federal government in appointing him was a step in the right direction.
“NUSA assures the consul general that we will continue to work with him and assist him as community leaders to achieve set goals and objectives, especially issues that affect the welfare of Nigerians resident in South Africa “NUSA also assures the consul general that the organisation shall continue to encourage Nigerians in South Africa to remain law abiding and to represent the country positively since they are witnessing a sense of sanity this far.
The Nigerian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, Baba Jidda, has commended the governments of China and Nigeria for deepening bilateral ties between both countries.
He said that this reflected through the approval of Air Peace’s scheduled, commercial flights to Guangzhou-China, which began on July 13.
Jidda made the commendation, according to a statement on Monday in Lagos, during a courtesy visit to the Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, at the airline’s headquarters in Lagos.
The diplomat also called on the Chinese government to relax the travel restrictions for Nigerians willing to fly to the Asian country.
He said that the approval for Air Peace to launch flights into China was given on the strength of the Bilateral Air Services Agreement signed between both countries.
He said it took about four years before the agreement was finally implemented.
The Ambassador lauded the efforts of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, and those of his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. He stressed that a lot went into getting Air Peace, a Nigerian airline, to finally connect both countries through air travel.
“I want to say that as an ambassador, we still have much to do to support Air Peace to operate comfortably for the benefit of all Nigerians and the Chinese.
“So far, the Chinese are benefitting tremendously from the operations of Air Peace because Nigerians are having some difficulty in obtaining visas.
” I, therefore, want to use this medium to plead with the Embassy of China in Abuja, to consider relaxing restrictions on Nigerians, such that Nigerians will be given visa and they will now fly Air Peace and the market of Air Peace will expand.
This, to us, is very important.
“Finally, I would like to thank the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for making this historic approval of direct flight between Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China”, Jidda said.
In his remarks, Onyema expressed delight over the visit of the Ambassador and emphasised the pivotal role he played in ensuring that Air Peace got the statutory nod to kick off the China route.
He lauded the support given by the Minister of Aviation, Sen.Hadi Sirika, to the airline.
The CEO harped on the need for Nigerians to jettison their ethnic differences and support one another.
He said: “This is why I have always believed in the unity of this country.
I am Onyema from South East. ” You are Alhaji Baba Ahmad Jidda from North East. You have been fighting for me.
“You have been fighting for this Air Peace owned by an Igbo man.
And today, we have it, the China route,” he said.
Onyema said that Sirika also gave Air Peace the designation to do the China route.
He also expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for making it happen.
“We are very appreciative.
We appreciate the President for making sure that his government stood by indigenous investors to make sure their businesses prosper.
“We thank Federal Government of Nigeria, and we thank the government of the Republic of China for cooperating with us so far to this end.
“Thank you, your Excellency.
We really appreciate your efforts, and we wish the country will recognise what you have done today,” he said.
Onyema said that with the addition of Guangzhou, Air Peace now operates a network of three international routes, including Dubai and Johannesburg, seven regional and 20 domestic routes, while parading a modern fleet of over 30 aircraft.
President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Tuesday for Monrovia, Liberia, to attend the 175th independence anniversary of the country.
Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this in a statement on Monday.
According to Shehu, the president, who will be the Special Guest of Honour at the event, joined other world leaders and organisations to rejoice with the people of Liberia at the event with the theme: “Fostering Unity, Protecting Our Peace for Development and Prosperity.” Nigeria played a leading role in the stabilisation of the West African nation in the early 90s, leading to the establishment of democratic rule and has continued to assist the country in many ways, especially through the Technical Aids Corps scheme.
In 2019, Buhari was conferred with the highest national honour in the country, the Grand Cordon in the Most Venerable Order of Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia, in recognition of Nigeria’s continued support towards the development of the country.
The Nigerian leader, who will be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Abubakar, is expected be back in the country later on the same day.
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has reaffirmed its commitment to collaborate with key stakeholders in developing and promoting the non-oil export sector.
The Executive Secretary of NEPC, Dr Ezra Yakusak, said this at the interactive dinner for Commissioners and development partners in Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
According to Yakusak, NEPC cannot effectively discharge its duties without individual or collective support of the envoys.
Describing them as key partners in the implementation of NEPC’s programmes and policies as a trade promotion organisation, Yakusak said that it further informed the resolve to open up channels of interfacing with them on regular basis.
He said that travels by NEPC for international engagements such as trade fairs, trade missions, solo exhibitions, meetings, market research, expos, trade and investment summit could not be possible without the support of embassies especially in visa processing.
“We have had occasions where our trade fairs were marred by denial of visas to selected exporters and our staff.
“Most of these occur at the last minute, when all other arrangements had been concluded thereby making it difficult for us to successfully execute such programmes.
“This is one critical area where your Excellencies can be of immense assistance to the council in our efforts to showcase Nigerian products to the international market.
“It is, therefore, my expectation that after this interaction, there will be a seamless exchange of information between the council and the various goods and services that Nigeria could trade with your countries,” Yakusak said.
He, however, expressed the council’s quest to facilitate small and medium enterprises’ acquisition of international certification to access non-oil market with premium pricing.
According to Yakusak, the NEPC initiated the Nigerian competitiveness project tagged ‘Go certification’.
“The programme is intended to checkmate the numerous cases of export rejects and to also ensure the maintenance of minimum food safety standard in line with international best practices.
“Presently, a total of 101 certifications have been issued to various SMEs exporters with NEPC bearing the entire cost of such certifications like HACCP, FDA, ISO 22000 and HALAL,” Yakusak said.
He further said that NEPC had initiated the establishment of export trade houses under a public private partnership arrangement to further enhance the visibility of made in Nigeria products, facilitate market access and increase market share.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, described NEPC’s initiative in promoting non-oil exports and increasing the market share as pro-active and urged other agencies under the ministry to emulate the action.
Represented by Mr Suleiman Audu, Director, Commodities and Export Department in the ministry, Adebayo said, “this is particularly looking at the evolving economy and the fact that we came out of the COVID-19 pandemic with all the challenges’’.
Similarly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, in his good will message, appreciated the initiative and assured of the ministry’s continued collaboration with NEPC in promoting non-oil exports.
“Trade is a great instrument of foreign policy.
So, there must continue to be an interplay of the political and the economic aspect which trade and investment represent.
“So, we provide a good platform for our missions abroad to represent Nigerian economic interests and for the headquarters here to mobilise the foreign missions in Nigeria for the progress of our economic policy,’’ he said.
Onyeama was represented by Mr Bolaji Akinremi, Director, Economic Trade and Investment in the Minsitry of Forein Affairs.
Speaking on behalf of the Ambassadors, Amb.
Salaudeen Abbas, Doyen of Diplomatic Corps in Nigeria, assured of the support of the international community to cooperate with Nigeria in boosting international trade relations.
“In my 14 years of being in Nigeria, this is very first time this kind of event is hosted and I am optimistic about the positive results it will attract.
“We are committed to seamless interactions that would promote the development and diversification of Nigeria’s export trade,” Abbas said.