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Diplomacy: Foreign nations engage with Nigeria as leader in Africa

By Linus Aleke, Abuja

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar said that foreign nations and multilateral Institutions relate to Nigeria as a leader, not only in West Africa and the Sahel region but the entire continent of Africa.

This, he said is in addition to the envious position of the country as the largest economy in the continent.

Amb. Tuggar said this during his maiden meeting with the Diplomatic Correspondent Association of Nigeria (DICAN), at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.

This is as the Diplomatic Correspondent Association of Nigeria conferred a grand patron award on the Minister.

Amb. Tuggar, who is the immediate past Nigerian Ambassador to Germany,
noted that the starting point for Nigeria’s
foreign policy is the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He pointed out that in the Nigerian constitution, the foreign policy objectives are constant, and the ministry cannot change it.

The Minister noted that one of the foreign policy objectives in the constitution, centred around West Africa, and Africa itself, stressing that those objectives are immovable.

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According to him, “We can see how it also makes sense for Nigeria to pay close attention to what happens in its region because when outsiders engage with us, they not only engage with us as Nigeria, but they are also engaging with us as the leader in our neighbourhood, in our region, and on the continent. This is going to become even more so because we are growing in terms of population, we are the most populous black nation on earth and we will continue to be so. We will be the third most populous country on the planet by 2050 and of course, our economy is also the largest economy on the continent. Therefore, when people look at us, they will approach us with that perspective”.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the association, Mr Frederick Idehai, assured the Minister of its support and partnership to protect the nation’s image positively before the international community as well as drive the country’s foreign policy in line with the renewed hope agenda of Mr President.

He drew the Minister’s attention to the urgent need for capacity building for members, to bring them up to speed with happening in the diplomatic circle, with a special focus on Nigeria’s relations with the wider world.

The visit to the Minister, he said, is one among several visits lined up by DICAN to engage with the Diplomatic Community, key government agencies, and relevant stakeholders for the overall interest of Nigeria.

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