By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoaâ€”Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State,Â has challenged officers of the Regular Course 18 of the Foreign Service Academy to always make the protection ofÂ Nigeria’sÂ image,Â their main focus.
Speaking at a dinner organised for participants of the course at Government House in Yenagoa, Sylva said the officers must strive to portray the country in good light in all they do.
He expressed satisfaction with the capacity of the academy to give participants the opportunity to visit different states of the federation to have first-hand knowledge of the diverse cultures and traditions of the people as well as their potentials and challenges.
The Governor said as diplomats, the officers were expected to be patriots of their country before they could showcase it to the rest of the world and woo investors to the country.
He berated some Nigerians, who indulge in the habit of leaving the country through the Sahara at the expense of their lives, only to end up living in deplorable conditions abroad.
Sylva said the officers have a great task of effectively representing the country and projecting the true image of Nigeria, pointing out that the country has made great progress since it gained independence, 50 years ago.
Highlighting some of the natural resources of the state, especially in the areas of agriculture, and oil and gas, Sylva said he was delighted that the participants had seen the development efforts of his government and appreciated the environmental challenges faced by the people.