The Director General, Technical Aid Corps for Africa, The Pacifics and Caribbean, Dr. Pius Osunyikanmi has defended Nigeria’s commitment of financial and human resources to foreign aids all over the world.
This is in reaction to questions being raised about the relevance of Nigeria’s outpouring of generosity to the outside world despite attacks being suffered by Nigerians living abroad.
Besides, the country’s years of commitment to peacekeeping operations in many countries, Nigeria has had a long standing commitment in terms of its Technical Aid Corps scheme to Africa, the Pacifics and the Caribbean since 1987.
In this interview with Network Africa, Dr. Osunyikanmi stated that Nigeria’s role in the decolonization of many African countries, especially in the 1970s puts it in a position of responsibility for the sustenance of their sovereignty, hence its physical presence in many of their crisis situations.
Osunyikanmi who is also the immediate past Special Adviser to the President on International Affairs, while defending the country’s foreign policy added that focus should also be on the factors leading to some of the reported attacks on Nigerians abroad.
“We need to emphasize the fact that there are indeed good Nigerians, they are in abundance, but the few Nigerians that will not do the right things in the right ways often provoke a number of these responses.”
According to him “if there had not been this scheme, if Nigeria had not been well integrated into the culture or system of those countries, of course this factor of xenophobic attacks would have been much more than (you) identified.”
In view of changing trends in International Relations globally, he also added that “there is no aspect of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy that is as relevant as the Technical Aid Corps, considering the fact that it is also within the ambit of the South-South Corporation.”
Issues that were raised in the interview bothered on the principles of economic reciprocity towards Nigeria’s gesture at a time when there seems to be contempt against its nationals abroad. Also with the level of poverty within the country and the resources put into foreign operations, there are questions over the justification for these foreign support operations.