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I must ensure that Nigerians abroad are secured – Onyeama

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BY Victoria Ojeme

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama has said that ensuring the security of Nigerians abroad would be his focus as Minister.

Onyeama made this known on Wednesday in Abuja as he assumed duties as Minister of Foreign Affairs for a second term.

He said that his focus were in line with the priorities of President Muhammadu Buhari agenda which aims at putting Nigeria as a economy to be reckoned with at the ECOWAS, African Union, UN and global scene.

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Onyeama said that in implementing foreign policies, the Ministry would be a lot more aggressive and robust in engaging with countries to ensure that the human rights and security of Nigerians anywhere in the world is respected.

He said that to this effect, citizens diplomacy will also take the centre stage in which a number will be made available for Nigerians to call wherever they are across the world for immediate response on any issues.

On the attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, Onyeama  explained that the bi-national commission between both countries at the presidential level was looking at a special relationship between South Africa and Nigeria.

He explained that in the framework, the issue of the security of Nigerians in South Africa would be addressed at the very highest level.

Onyeama said that there was also a trust deficit between Nigerians living in South Africa and the South African Police noting that it was important to get both parties  working together to address this issue.

“Essentially, the priorities of Mr President is what we have to focus on and build from which are security, anti-corruption and the economy

“We have just signed to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA) and this can be a game changer for the continent and with 200 million people, we really would define the success of the AFCTA.

“So, we are going to have to cooperate and coordinate with the Ministry of Trade and Investment to ensure that we get maximum benefits from African integration.

“Another important area of Mr President’s priority would be repatriation of looted funds across the world, engaging with countries to get all the stolen funds returned to us.

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“And at the Multilateral level, at the UN level, we are going to be President of the UN General Assembly for one year, starting from September.

“We have to leverage on that position to secure as much benefit at the global level for Nigeria,” Onyeama said.

Onyeama called for the support of Members of staff of the Ministry so that they could all work together to achieve the visions of President Buhari for a greater Nigeria.

Also speaking, Amb. Zubairu Dada, Minister of State, Foreign Affairs pledged his support to work with the Minister and staff of the Ministry .

“We are supposed to work as a team because that is the mandate that has been given to u and we can only succeed if we put our hands together.


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