Nigeria gets 88 new ambassadors

Channels Television  
Updated March 12, 2012

The Minister of foreign affairs Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru has called for an adjustment of the nation’s foreign policy to address current global trends and challenges including security concerns in the sub-region.

Mr. Ashiru noted that the nation’s foreign policy must also reflect a greater percentage of national interests that will help eradicate poverty and boost economic progress.

The Minister made the remarks while addressing 88 new ambassadors being inducted for foreign postings.

He urged them to pursue robust multi-lateral and bi-lateral relations with the international community to attract foreign investment to the country.

However, the Permanent Secretary of foreign affairs Ministry, Martin Uhomoibhi cautioned the diplomats that representing one’s country as an Ambassador is “certainly a far cry from enjoying the sights and sounds of a foreign country like a tourist.”

President GoodluckJjonathan in December 2011 submitted a list of 32 non-career and 56 career Ambassadorial nominees to the Senate for confirmation.

Some of the nominees include; the former minister of foreign affairs, Ojo Madueke, widow of the late Biafra leader, Bianca Ojukwu, former senior special assistant to the president on diaspora affairs, and former Minister of Aviation, Fidelia Njeze.

The 88 newly appointed ambassadors were at an induction ceremony in Abuja to take on their diplomatic missions as soon as they receive their foreign postings.

The Minister of foreign affairs also called for the protection of the interests and rights of Nigerians in diaspora. He called for high performance and productive diplomatic relations.

Economic progress has been the focus of this administration, though many Nigerians say they are yet to see the fruits of the efforts. Perhaps stronger bi-lateral and multi-lateral ties with other countries will attract the much needed foreign investors.

Nigeria has witnessed a number of diplomatic row in recent weeks which ranges from the spat with South Africa over the deportation of 125 Nigerians over fake yellow fever vaccination card and the killing of a Briton and Italian during a botched rescue mission in Sokoto.