PHOTOS: Minister, Diplomatic Corps Members Meet In Abuja

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyema, speaks during a meeting with members of the Diplomatic Corps in Abuja on January 16, 2020.

 

 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyema, on Thursday met with members of the Diplomatic Corps in the country.

In his opening address at the event held in Abuja, the minister thanked the envoys for their contribution towards meeting the humanitarian and security challenges in Nigeria.

He also called for more support in achieving the Federal Government’s vision of improving trade, transparency, and infrastructure to enhance the well-being of the citizens.

Among other areas of concern raised by the minister included the need to increase funding for the United Nations Peace-Keeping operations, especially in Africa.

See photos from the event below:

UN General Assembly President Garces To Visit Nigeria Tomorrow

The President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Maria Garces. Credit: UN

 

The President of the United Nations General Assembly, María Garces will be in Nigeria tomorrow on a working visit.

In a statement by the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Friday Akpan, Garces and her delegation will be received into the country by officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations office in Abuja.

The UNGA President will use the opportunity of her visit to have a bilateral meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

She will also meet with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ahead of a joint press conference.

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The key issues to be discussed during the meeting are Nigeria’s transition to the 74th Presidency of the General Assembly; pp-coming High-Level Meetings; Strengthening Multilateralism to respond to global challenges; Nigeria’s role in Regional Peace and Security; and Nigeria’s Regional Initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Similarly, the UN diplomat is also expected to present a paper with the theme “Responding to Global Challenges in a fast-changing World: the Case for Strengthening Multilateralism” at the University of Abuja.

Before her departure on Wednesday, Garces will hold an Interactive Session with women at the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.

Senate Rejects List Of Non-Career Ambassadors

Senate Rejects List Of Non-Career AmbassadorsThe Senate has rejected a list of 46 non-career ambassadors which President Buhari sent to lawmakers for confirmation.

Lawmakers rejected the list because of the myriad of petitions which the Committee on Foreign Affairs received over the nomination of the ambassadors.

The Senate is sending the list back to President Buhari to make amendments and return to the Senate

Meanwhile, the Senate has confirmed 47 career ambassadors which President Buhari sent to the upper chamber for confirmation.

The list also faced its own challenge in June when the screening of 47 nominees at the Senate was put on hold following what the federal lawmakers called irregularities in the nomination process.

Senator Joshua Dariye raised a motion under matters of urgent national importance alleging the non-inclusion of the names of competent persons from his constituent.

Senator Dariye expressed concern that not a single career diplomat from his state was included in the list.

His views were shared by Senators Sola Adeyeye and Fauster Ogolar. They believe that the nomination process was faulty.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, also joined in the condemnation of the nomination process before announcing the decision of the Senate to suspend the screening.

Sex Scandal: US To Provide Video Evidence During House Public Hearing

James_EntwistleThe United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, says there is proof that three members of the Nigerian House of Representatives were seen acting inappropriately in the US.

Mr Entwhistle is to present video evidence against them for alleged sexual misconduct.

Two All Progressive Congress (APC) lawmakers, Mohammed Gololo and Mark Gbillah, and one Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lawmaker, Samuel Okon, were alleged to have solicited for sex and sexually harassed a hotel housekeeper in Cleveland, Ohio.

The US Ambassador in a petition to the Speaker of the House of Reps, Yakubu Dogara, said their actions brought disrepute to the parliament.

The House Committee on Ethics and Privileges, chaired by Ossai Ossai has been assigned to probe the matter.

The three lawmakers were attending the International Visitor Leadership Programme in Ohio, from April 7 to 13, 2016, when the incident occurred.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema is also expected at the hearing.

Senate Suspends Ambassadorial Nominees’ Screening

Senate, Legislature, Aliyu Abdullahi,The screening of 47 ambassadorial nominees at the Nigerian Senate has been put on hold following what the federal lawmakers call irregularities in the nomination process.

The Senate suspended the screening on Wednesday after Senator Joshua Dariye raised a motion under matters of urgent national importance alleging the non-inclusion of the names of competent persons from his constituent.

Senator Dariye expressed concern that not a single career diplomat from his state was included in the list.

His views were shared by Senators Sola Adeyeye and Fauster Ogolar. They believe that the nomination process is faulty.

The Senate after deliberation summoned the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, to appear before its Committee on Foreign Affairs to explain the lopsided nomination and report to the upper legislative chamber in one week.

It is barely two weeks since President Muhammadu Buhari sent the names of some ambassadorial nominees to the Senate for screening and confirmation and since then, lawmakers have been picking holes in the nomination process.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, also joined in the condemnation of the nomination process before announcing the decision of the Senate to suspend the screening.

The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs is expected to meet with Mr Onyema and report to the Senate in one week.

But for now, the screening of the ambassadorial nominees remains on hold.

Buhari Arrives South Africa For Forum on China Africa Cooperation

buhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has arrived in South Africa for the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

He touched down at the Waterkloof Air Force Base on Thursday evening proceeding to Johannesburg where the forum will be taking place.

President Buhari will join other leaders on Friday morning for the FOCAC opening.

He will also meet with business leaders from China and Africa.

In the evening, he would hold bilateral talks with President Xi Jinping of China – a follow up to his meeting with the Chinese leader which took place in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in November.

President Buhari is also expected to discuss ways of removing all obstacles in the way of the 3,050 megawatts Mambila Power Station, considered a strategic project which was conceived in 1982 but has not taken off.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media  and Publicity, Garba Shehu, had said in a statement that the Chinese President had informed President Buhari of the willingness of his country to finance the whole project through a special loan agreement.

“Of particular interest is the coastal railway project stretching for 1402 kilometers linking Lagos in the West with Calabar in the East; a project that is expected to be financed with 12 billion U.S Dollars Chinese loan and which will create about 200,000 jobs.

“Another rail project that will be up for renegotiation is the 8.3 billion Dollars Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernisation project, of which only a segment, Kaduna-Abuja has reached completion stage”, the statement read.

On the Nigerian delegation are the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Transport, Chubuike Amaechi; and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah.

Buhari, Chinese Leader To Discuss Railway, Power Projects

Buhari, Chinese Leader To Discuss Railway, Power ProjectsPresident Muhammadu Buhari will be in South Africa on Thursday to participate in the Forum on China/Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which would hold in Johannesburg on December 4 and 5.

In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media  and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that Mr Buhari, at the forum would follow up his meeting with the Chinese Leader Xi Jinping which took place in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in November.

“President Buhari had indicated to Xi Jinping, the Chinese leader at the bilateral meeting in New York, that he wanted China to re-commence stalled rail projects under new terms that would see China providing nearly all the financing required.

“Of particular interest is the coastal railway project stretching for 1402 kilometers linking Lagos in the West with Calabar in the East; a project that is expected to be financed with 12 billion U.S Dollars Chinese loan and which will create about 200,000 jobs.

“Another rail project that will be up for renegotiation is the 8.3 billion Dollars Lagos-Kano standard gauge modernisation project, of which only a segment, Kaduna-Abuja has reached completion stage”, the statement read.

President Buhari is also expected to discuss ways of removing all obstacles in the way of the 3,050 megawatts Mambila Power Station, considered a strategic project which was conceived in 1982 but has not taken off.

“The Chinese President had informed President Buhari of the willingness of his country to finance the whole project through a special loan agreement.

“The President, who will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema; Minister of Transportation, Chubuike Amaechi; and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, will return to Abuja on Saturday, December 5”, the statement added.