President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the newly appointed Ambassadors-Designate, Consuls-General, Charge’ D’ Affaires Entitre to continually project the strengths of Nigeria, showcase priorities of the government, and uphold standards that would bring honour to the country.
He also charged the new diplomats to always be mindful of the policy direction of the government, particularly the nine priorities and areas of focus that have been identified to guide Nigeria’s policy directions toward achieving all-round development across the country.
Buhari listed the areas of focus to include building a thriving and sustainable economy; enhancing social inclusion and reduce poverty; enlarging agricultural output for food security and export, and attaining energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products.
Others are expanding transport and other infrastructural development; expanding business opportunities, entrepreneurship and industrialization; expanding access to quality education, and ensuring affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians.
Speaking virtually from the State House at the Induction /Orientation Exercise For Ambassadors-Designate, Consuls-General and Charge’ D’ Affaires Entitre held at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) auditorium on Tuesday, Buhari also noted that the priorities include building a system to fight corruption, improve governance and create social cohesion and improve security for all.
According to him, in our effort to achieve realistic development-oriented domestic and foreign policies, the government has identified the nine priority areas to guide our policy directions and thrust within the time frame of 2019-2023.
“I, therefore, urge all of you to be guided by these identified priority goals, as well as your various Station Charters which highlight specific mandates and guidelines on government’s expectation. We expect you to fight hard for Nigeria and for Nigerians abroad.
“You must not forget that you have been posted to your respective bilateral and multilateral Missions to represent and project Nigeria as a great and indivisible nation and a very attractive investment destination.
“You must strive to promote trade, human capacity development, foreign direct investment, and other areas of cooperation with countries at national and multilateral levels to support our national growth and development.
“Finally, as Principal Representatives abroad, you must therefore intensify efforts to leverage on available opportunities, as well as your goodwill to help deliver prosperity to the millions of Nigerian citizens at home and the country you are posted,’’ Buhari told the diplomats.
In his remarks, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said that the thrust of Buhari’s foreign policy was clearly defined since 2015 as “neighbourliness, diplomacy, and engagement’’, describing it as the ‘Buhari doctrine.’
The Minister told the diplomats that the president’s foreign policy focus was also similar to that adopted by President Joe Biden of the United States, with emphasis on promoting goodwill that attracts friends to the country, enhances security, and bolsters the economy.
“The result of the ‘Buhari doctrine’ is that Mr. President is on good terms with all countries of the world, and this will make your jobs easier,’’ he added.