President Goodluck Jonathan
By Ahamefula Ogbu in Abuja
“Jonathan lists Nigerians’ protection, investment as priorities
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday presented letters of credence to 93 ambassadors whom he gave a marching order to protect Nigerians in their countries of posting as well as to attract more investment to Nigeria.
The president, at the occasion at State House, Abuja, witnessed by top government officials and family members of the new ambassadors, among others, reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to make Africa the centre piece of its foreign policy.
Among those that got their letters were Bianca, widow of Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu; former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe; former Minister of Aviation, Mrs. Fidelia Akuabata Njeze; former Oyo State deputy governor, Alhaji Taofeek Arapaja; former State House Chief of Protocol, Alhaji Abdullahi Tijani and Presidential Liaison Officer, Mohammed Abubakar Waziri.
However, it was gathered that Nigerian Ambassador to the United States, Professor Adebowale Adefuye; High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Senator Dalhatu Tafida; Ambassador to China, Alhaji Aminu Wali; and Nigeria’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations, Professor Joy Ogwu, will retain their positions.
Although 93 people were presented with their letters of credence yesterday, a list of the posting obtained by THISDAY showed that only 48 of them have been posted.
A presidency source said the 48 ambassadors were the first batch whose accreditation process had been completed following the receipt of letters of agreement from their host countries.
The source said the list also omitted names of those being posted out as deputy chiefs to Nigerian missions, who though are of ambassadorial rank, they do not require Letters of Agreement.
Jonathan, while handing over the letters of credence to the ambassadors, urged them to forge a common front and de-emphasise ethnic associations for the greater feeling of oneness.
He told them to give higher priority to promoting democracy and good governance while at the same time pursuing multilateral diplomacy to the benefit of Nigeria in an ever-changing world.
He said: “You are assuming office at a critical period in Nigeria’s developmental history. As you prepare to depart to your countries of accreditation, you must always bear in mind that our foreign policy must reflect the aspirations and priorities of a democratic Nigeria.
“Economic diplomacy and Africa remain at the centre of our foreign policy agenda. In this respect, your responsibility to attract investments into the country and open up markets for our local goods and services cannot be over emphasised.
“Defending the interests of Nigerians living and operating lawfully in your countries of accreditation must be seen as a primary assignment.
“Protecting their interest through greater and more efficient consular support is also a priority to which you must remain fully committed.
“Increasingly, the Diaspora is shaping the growth and development of nations. Ours should not be different. We have a vibrant Diaspora that you need to constantly engage with so that it can effectively support and make contributions to national development, especially in the areas of finance, ICT and intellectual property.”
Jonathan explained that he deliberately included more career diplomats in the posting to underscore the need to achieve excellence in diplomacy while ensuring the gains of such positions.
“Today, we live in an international environment that is characterised by rapid change, intense competition, and driven by knowledge and technology. It is an exciting world in which only the best succeed.
“In such an environment, only a dynamic, confident and proactive foreign service can effectively and efficiently serve Nigeria’s interests.
“To build and sustain a corps of staff that can excel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must accord priority to recruiting the best and ensuring the regular training of its diplomatic agents.
“I believe that the objective of raising standards can also be achieved if senior Foreign Service officers are given challenges that prove their worth. They should be sufficiently equipped to act as veritable change agents, and lead in positively driving Nigeria’s foreign policy objectives abroad.
“My decision to give prominence to career officers in the current appointments was informed, in part, by the imperative to incentivise the career officers and enhance commitment to professional excellence,” Jonathan stated.
LIST OF HEADS OF MISSION
1. Amb. Chive Lor Ignatius Kaave – Argentina
2. Amb. Felix Edobor Awanbor -Belgium
3. Amb. Lawrence Olufemi Obisakin – Benin Republic
4. Amb. Okwudili Odi Obidigbo Nwosu – Burundi
5. Amb. Hadiza Mustapha – Cameroon
6. Amb. Ojo Uma Maduekwe – Canada
7. Amb. Garba Abdu Zakari – Chad
8. Amb.Victoria Jolaade Bosede Onipede – Congo Brazzaville
9. Amb. Katherine Uyok Okon – Chech Republic
10. Amb. Grant Okechukwu Ehiobuche – Democratic Rep. of Congo
11. Amb. Sunday Benjamin B Bassey – Equitorial Guinea
12. Amb. Akinyele Oladipo Fayomi – France
13. Amb. Ademola Oluseyi Onafowokan – Ghana
14. Amb. Ayodeji Lawrence Ayodele – Greece
15. Amb. Abdul Rahman Sallahdeen – Indonesia
16. Amb. Tukur Mani – Iran
17. Amb. Eric Tonye Aworabhi – Italy
18. Amb.Olatokunboh Kamson – Jamaica
19. Amb. Taofeek Oladejo Arapaja – Jordan
20. Amb. Solomon Akintola Kayode Oyateru – Kenya
21. Amb. Haruna Garba – Kuwait
22. Amb. Ghigozie Fidelia Obi-Nnadozie – Liberia
23. Amb. Mohammed Lawan Gana – Malawi
24. Amb. Zhiri James Gana – Mexico
25. Amb. Matilda Kwashi – Mozambique
26. Amb. Biodun Nathaniel Olorunfemi – Namibia
27. Amb. Alexander Nwofe – North Korea
28. Amb. Akinyemi Farounbi – Philippines
29. Amb. Samuel Wodi Jimba – Poland
30. Amb. Abba Abdullahi Tijjani – Romania
31. Amb. Assam Ekanem Assam – Russia
32. Amb. Ayibakuro Peter Ogidi-Oke – Rwanda
33. Amb. Abubakar Shehu Bunu – Saudi Arabia
34. Amb. Katyen Catherine Jackden – Senegal
35. Amb. Eyo Asuquo – Sierra Leone
36. Amb. Femi Akenson Rotimi – Sri Lanka
37. Amb. Haliru Sodangi Shuaibu – Sudan
38. Amb. Fidelia Akuabata Njeze – Switzerland
39. Amb. Adamu Babangida Ibrahim – Syria
40. Amb. Chukwudi Newington Okafor – Thailand
41. Amb. Matthew Sunday Adoli – Togo
42. Amb. James Shuaibu Barka – Tunisia
43. Amb. Cornelius O. Oluwateru – United Arab Emirates
44. Amb. Frank Ngozi Isoh – Uganda
45. Amb. Ibrahim Auwalu – Ukraine
46. Amb. Francis Chukwuemeka Okeke – Vatican
47. Amb. Matthias Ojih Okafor – Vietnam
48. Amb. Sifawu Inu-Umoru Momoh – Zambia
Source: Thisday Newspaper