…Promise to market Nigeria to outside world
…Challenged to improve Nigerian’s foreign mission
By Emmanuel Elebeke
The newly inducted Ambassadors from South East and South South regions of the country have vowed to end the issue of delay in passport booklets in their respective countries, insisting that the delay will soon be a thing of the past.
The envoys also pledged to market the image of Nigeria outside the world and also come up with initiatives that would stimulate the economy.
The new Ambassadors made the pledge when the Chairman and CEO of E.F Network limited, Gideon Egbuchulam hosted them at his Maitama office, Abuja.
Nigerian Ambassador to Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Belize, Maureen Tamuno from Rivers state, Amb. Tamuno while speaking at the event assured that with the new breed and wave of change brought into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the present administration, they are better equipped to do their job with a new approach that would bring positive returns to the country.
She said: ‘‘There is a new breed and new wave of the crop of people that are Ambassadors, especially the Minister and Permanent Secretary. We just finished training. Very shortly, the issue of delay in passport booklets will be things of the past.
‘‘We know what we are doing, we know we need to market Nigeria outside and also bring in some things to stimulate the economy. We will like to work with E.F Network because it is an employing labour.
‘‘We want to thank President Buhari for the opportunity. We will not let Nigeria down, we will not let the President down and we will not let women down,’’ Tamuno said.
She however, charged Nigerian youths to cultivate the culture of hardwork and integrity, saying that it is only through such means that they can succeed.
‘‘In life, if you work hard and you do not see the result, do not be discouraged. You need to market where you eat from. Service is very key, do not think God does not see you, but serve with excitement and be honest in service.
‘‘Most people are in a hurry to get off, keep serving so that when your time comes, people will serve you. To the girls, I say the beautiful ones are not yet born, keep on striving.’’
Other Ambassadors who took their turns to address the youth, expressed the Federal Government’s commitment to improving the welfare of Nigerians in Diaspora and thanked the President for the honor done them and pledged to serve Nigeria with distinction.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of E.F. Network Ltd, Mr. Gideon Egbuchulam underlined the challenges and importance of Nigerian missions abroad and expressed his readiness to offer his contribution to their success.
Egbuchulam, who expressed delight by the crop of persons assembled by President Buhari said that the President made the right decisions in selecting quality crop of Ambassadors.
He further thanked Mr. President for the honor done to the South East and South South region by selecting the best to represent Nigeria at this time.
Sharing his personal knowledge on challenges faced by some Nigerians in Diaspora, Mr. Egbuchulam said most Nigerians in Diaspora go through maltreatment in the hands of their host countries without any help from the Nigeria Embassies.
He also recalled that Nigerians also face the challenges of getting passports for their newborns and even passport renewal.
‘‘Sometimes, the situation gets to a point that Nigerians in Diaspora doubt the existence of foreign missions in such countries. I urge you Ambassadors to change this narrative.
‘‘I am also aware that some Nigerian Embassies are ill-equipped and staff morale low. There were two extreme cases where Nigeria Ambassadors were given evictions by their landlords.
‘‘I wonder why an Ambassador would face eviction notice considering the resultant effect on the image of Nigeria. I advise that you be ready for the challenges ahead because the trust placed on you by Mr. President is huge.
‘‘Despite all the challenges, with effective representation and communication with Foreign Minister, the problems would surely be attended.’’
The E.F Network boss further commended President Buhari for his efforts towards improving the welfare of Nigerians in Diaspora since he took over power in 2015.
He expressed delight that many Embassy challenges have been reduced significantly, though not completely eradicated.
Egbuchulam expressed hopes that with time the challenges of the foreign missions will be a thing of the past, particularly, under the watch of the current Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama.
Mr. Egbuchulam reminded the Ambassador that their assignment as representatives of the President and Nigerians underpins the challenges and the heavy burden they carry for the country.
“They are the chosen ones out of over 200 million people of Nigerians. As Nigerian Ambassadors, you must bring investors home to assist us stimulate our ailing economy being ravaged by Covid-19 and also create jobs, especially now that there are vaccines to control the spread of Covid-19.
The Ambassadors were later hosted to a send-forth dinner party at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja by the E. F Network Chairman.
They included Amb. Ijeoma Obiezu of Dublin Ireland (Imo state); Amb. Elijah Onyeagba of Republic of Burundi (Anambra state); Amb. Ominyi Nwanne of Republic of Zambia (Ebonyi state), Amb. John Usanga of Guinea Bissau (Akwa Ibom state) and Amb. Maureen Tamuno of Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Belize (Rivers state).