Nigeria’s Multilateral Diplomacy Fosters Economic Growth in West-Africa- Minister

Margaret Ebeshi, Abuja

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Nigeria has upped its bilateral and multilateral diplomacy since President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration  from 2015.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama stated this at the 22nd edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s Scorecard series on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

He explained that the administration’s bilateral and multilateral relations since 2015 has fostered in the fight against insecurity, anti-corruption, economic d9evelopment and the overall welfare of Nigerians.

The Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Onyeama said through the ministry’s intervention, the administration took advantage of the bilateral and multilateral platforms to explore cooperation with neighbours, international organizations and partners.

It’s renewed efforts include, to counter terrorism, foster economic growth,  foreign policy engagement, combat climate change, and secure the welfare of Nigerians at home and abroad.

He added that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the area of security, contributed to resolving conflicts through the ECOWAS and the African Union platforms and also contributed significantly to making the ECOWAS Plan of Action 2020-2024 to fight insecurity in the West African region and the Sahel.

“This represented global resolve in the fight against terrorism. Furthermore, at the continental level, the Ministry has continually ensured since 2015 the annual renewal of the MNJTF by the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC). These efforts have undoubtedly complemented other national efforts in degrading terrorist groups,” he said.

The administration was also committed to maintaining international peace and security and publicly discouraged coups and attempts at third-term project by some African leaders, as it has been proven to be one of the drivers of instability.

Still during the period under review, Mr. Onyeama said the Ministry secured for Nigeria the establishment of regional Offices for several multilateral organizations in Abuja, especially the D8 Office for Health and social protection and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) that saw to 50% reduction in the cost of pharmaceutical supplies from other D8 Countries and opportunities for increased investment in the Health Sector.

On combating climate change, the Ministry ensured Nigeria’s strong voice in calling on developed countries to commit to implementing the provisions of one hundred billion US Dollars a year to developing countries, Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

In the same vein, Mr. Onyeama noted that the Ministry played a key role in bolstering the communication for landmark agreement between the governments of Nigeria and several foreign governments for the repatriation of looted funds and artefacts.

On the economy, he said that the Foreign Affairs ministry canvassed for Foreign Direct  Investment(FDI) for the promotion of trade and commerce.

“The Ministry, through our Mission in Berlin, also facilitated the first-ever export of Ginger from Kaduna to Germany through betterEco, a German Company in Nigeria.

“Signed and ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to optimise trading among Africans, including that of other international trade platforms, to promote market access for our numerous made-in-Nigeria goods and services. We believe the promotion of SMEs towards poverty alleviation is one of those deliverables.

“In the framework of the very robust and dynamic Foreign Policy engagement with China, the Ministry has equally facilitated significant infrastructural projects in Nigeria, which included:  i) Terminal expansion of Lagos, Abuja, PH, and Aminu Kano Airports; ii) Modernisation of Lagos –Kano Railway; iii) modernisation of Abuja Kaduna Railway among others,” he said.

Also, the Nigerian Foreign Affairs Minister said his ministry made the welfare of Nigerians at home and abroad a priority, proactively engaging with foreign consulates and organizations on early warning mechanism agreement to stop xenophobia, slavery and imprisonment of Nigerians abroad and evacuation of those stranded.

Mr. Onyeama said through the Technical Aid Corps, TAC, the Ministry generated employment for many Nigerians abroad and there was an increase in the number of recipient countries as well as resuscitation of the TAC scheme where it has been moribund in the Africa Caribbean and Pacific, ACP region.

At the international level, he said Nigeria remains a respected member of the international community with high visibility.

“We have leveraged the tremendous respect and goodwill Mr. President enjoys getting countries to support Nigeria’s interests on various global platforms. This includes the appointment of Nigerians to international organisations,” he said.

Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama added that the administration saw to the re-appointment of Amina Mohammed as Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Akinwumi Adesina as President of the African Development Bank (ADB), re-election of Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors Afreximbank and election of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and many other Nigerians into key international positions.



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