PRESENTATION ON THE PERFORMANCEOF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRSFROM MAY 2011 TO JUNE 2013BYAMBASSADOR OLUGBENGA A. ASHIRU, MFRHONOURABLE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRSAT THE MINISTERIAL PLATFORMFEDERAL MINISTRY OF INFORMATION, RADIO HOUSE,ABUJA, NIGERIA24TH JUNE 2013
Introduction ProtocolsWhen we assumed office in July 2011 and during my own SenateConfirmation Hearing, I gave the following commitments: i. To use Foreign Policy to support the Economic Programme ofGovernment in the areas of infrastructural development, agriculture,power, job and wealth creation and make the ordinary Nigerianbenefit directly from our foreign policy activities; ii. To reposition Nigeria in the International Community, withenhanced visibility and prestige; and iii. To protect the interests of Nigerians living or travellingabroad, and also bring succour to those in distressed situationsabroad.
ECONOMIC DIPLOMACYHon. Minister of Foreign AffairsAmb. O. A . AshiruPresident Jonathan at the World Economic ForumDavos, Switzerland
Our strategy was to focus on Economic Diplomacy by attracting hugeinvestments into the country in the last two years. The inflow of these investments has had a salutary effect on theTransformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan insupporting the economic programme of the Government. What we did was to form strategic partnerships with a number ofcountries in order to support our investment drive. The countries are: The U.S, Britain, Germany, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, South Africa and a few others. Economic Diplomacy Cont’dVice President Namadi Sambowith South African counterpart
These partnerships have been verysuccessful and resulted in largeinvestments inflow into thecountry. According to the United NationsWorld Investment Report, the totalFDI inflow into Nigeria was in theregion of USD 8.9bn for 2012, farhigher than in previous years. I will give a breakdown of themajor investments, projects andeconomic programmes that haveflowed into Nigeria in the last twoyears, consequent on the dynamiceconomic diplomacy of theJonathan Administration.Vice President leadingNigerian delegation on economic drive
Nigeria-USA RelationsPresident Jonathan andPresident Obama of USAHon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and USSecretary of state John Kerry
Nigeria-USA Relations Cont’d The General Electric Company of USis investing over USD1.0 billion in theconstruction of a factory in Calabar,Cross River to manufacture Gasturbines for the power sector notjust for Nigeria but also Africa. The factory would employ over 2500skilled man power and an equalnumber of unskilled workers, withwealth creation in the added valuechain; Proteur and Gamble has begun theconstruction of a factory in Agbara,Ogun State, to manufacture healthmaterials with the potential to createwell over 1000 skilled jobs and hugepotentials for wealth creation in theadded value chain;Vice President performing the ground breakingceremony of the GE manufacturing facility inCalabar
Under the partnership with the US, over 1000 ex-militants from the Niger-Delta region have been trainedin American Institutions in the last two years for skillacquisition and in other vocations.Some U.S companies under this partnership programmeare assisting with the rehabilitation of the Niger Deltaenvironment.Nigeria-USA RelationsCont’d
Nigeria-Germany RelationsPresident Jonathan andGerman Chancellor AngelaMarkel
Nigeria-Germany RelationsCont’d I am happy to report that the German private sector with thesupport of the German government is investing heavily in the powersector in Nigeria. This is consequent on the Bilateral Agreement signed inGermany on 2nd December, 2011 by the two Foreign Ministersbased on the instructions and directives of both PresidentGoodluck Jonathan and Chancellor Angela Merkel. The projects flowing into Nigeria from Germany include: Siemens of Germany to establish local manufacturingfactory in Lagos, Lagos State for the production of small andmedium scale Gas turbines for the power sector in Nigeria; Financial inflow of Euro65million for the 30 megawattsKiri Dam project in Adamawa;
Financial inflow of Euro50million for the 20megawatts Yola Solar powerstation; Financial inflow of Euro1.5billion for the 450megawatts Gombe Coal to power station; On-going construction of 450 megawattsNational Independent Power Project (NIPP)Geregu Power Station phase II inAjaokuta, Kogi State; Grant and support for Deforestation andForest Degradation Projects for Adamawa,Bornu, Cross River, Kano, Ogunand Sokoto States; andGeregu Power Station phase IIunder construction
Grant for 5 to 10 megawatts solar power plants for sixUniversities of Ibadan, Sokoto, Bayelsa, Yola and two others,at a total investment of Euro8.2million. The funding for the first of those units to the tune of Euro1.2millionhas already been confirmed. All the above projects would not only increase the installed capacityof our national grid but also create jobs for our youths and equallycreate wealth in the added value chain.
Consequent on the 6th Nigeria/EU Dialogue onMigration and Development in Abuja on 20thMarch, 2013, the EU has made a commitment tofund the implementation of projects on migrationmanagement in Nigeria to the tune of €20million(about N4.2billion).
Nigeria-China RelationsPresident Goodluck Jonathan andPresident Xi Jinping of China
Apart from the involvement ofChina in the development ofinfrastructures and construction, ithas granted a soft loan ofUSD500.million for theconstruction of a light rail in andaround Abuja.A 50 bed capacity hospital,donated by China is currently underconstruction in Abuja.Abuja light rail underconstructionAbuja light rail model
Nigeria-Mexico Relations A Foreign Direct InvestmentPortfolio of USD54million inflow has been granted todevelop agricultureplantations for thecultivation of pineapple andother crops for export to EUmarket. This on-going project iscreating jobs for ourunemployed youths andwealth for the populace.
REPOSITIONING NIGERIA IN WEST AFRICA,AFRICA AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
REPOSITIONING NIGERIA IN ECOWAS, AFRICAAND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY cont’d The strength, profile and prestige enjoyed by Nigeria andNigerians abroad today derived largely from the successfulpresidential elections of April 2011, which was adjudgedboth by local and foreign observers as free and fair. It is therefore not a surprise that, at his inaugural speech on29th May, 2011, President Goodluck Jonathan, as partof his foreign policy declaration, promised tochampion and promote democracy, good governanceand human rights in Africa.
The first test of the pledge was to be in Coted´Ivoire already embroiled in a civil war and adeadlocked electoral process. Nigeria´sintervention was decisive in the crisis, whichcould have had a destabilizing effect both to oursub-region, and the over 3 million Nigerians thathave made that country their home. President Goodluck Jonathan as Chairmanof the Authority of Heads of State andGovernment of ECOWAS, rose to the occasion.It was Nigeria´s strong voice and action, to upholddemocracy and support the winner of thepresidential election, Mr. Alassane Quattara, thatprevented a blood bath in Cote d´Ivoire.President Jonathans State VisitTo Cote Divoire
In Guinea Bissau it wasPresident Goodluck Jonathanthat successfully directed thenegotiations which broughtpeace and political stability tothe country, including prevailingon the new leadership to allowthe departure of the deposedleaders without any harm comingto them.President Nhamajo Serifo Of GuineaBissau Visits Abuja
As regards Mali, it was Nigeria´sleadership role that helped to stabilize thatcountry after the military coup prior to the failedascension of the terrorists into Northern Mali.Nigeria exerted strenuous diplomatic effortsto mobilize ECOWAS and the UN to intervene;efforts which paved the way for French militaryintervention. Nigeria showed leadership by theaccelerated dispatch of 1200 Nigeriantroops as part of the African-led internationalsupport Mission on Mali (AFISMA), to defend theterritorial integrity of Mali and military engage theterrorists.
Nigeria has continued to maintainvery cordial relations with itsimmediate neighbours ofCameroon, Niger, Chad andBenin Republic. We have concluded bilateralagreements to facilitate joint crossborder patrols by our security forcesto enhance the security of ourborders, as well as deal with thechallenges posed by terrorists andcross border trafficking of smallarms and light weapons.Hon. Minister of State II, Dr. Nuruddeen MohammedSigning a bilateral agreement with Equatorial Guinea
Beyond its pivotal role in the negotiation of the political and securitysituations in the ECOWAS and amongst its immediate neighbours,Nigeria has continued to play a leadership role in Africa. A good illustration of this was Nigeria´s timely intervention inannouncing the recognition of the then Transitional NationalCouncil (TNC) in Libya that showed the way. Within a fewdays of Nigeria´s announcement, the majority of member Statesof the African Union followed Nigeria´s lead.
Relations with Africa and the AfricanUnionAU Summit, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Mr. President at the 21st Session of the AUSummit, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Relations With The African UnionCont’d Before the advent of President Goodluck Jonathan´sAdministration, the general view in the media was Nigeria´s lack ofvisibility within the African Union and its activities. In fact since the transformation of the OAU to the AU ten yearsago, Nigeria was not represented at the highest decision making organof the AU from 2003 to 2011. Nigeria failed three times to secure election into one of the 8 posts ofCommissioners (apart from the Chairperson or Deputy) within theAfrican Union Commission, in spite of our yearly contribution of about15% of the annual budget of the organization to the tune ofabout USD16.3million.
However, due to careful and meticulous strategicplanning and formation of alliances with othersub-regional groups, Nigeria broke the jinxand was successful in the election in July2012 to secure the post of Commissioner forPolitical Affairs for our candidate, AmbassadorAisha Abdullahi, Nigeria´s former Ambassador toGuinea-Conakry. Two years after, Nigeria is now very visibleat the African Union. Furthermore, Nigeriais also now present at the highest leveldecision making organ of the AfricanUnion, in charge of Democracy, Election andGood Governance on the continent. President Jonathan signs a pact with AU Commission
INTERNATIONAL PROFILEHon. Minister of State I,Prof. (Mrs.) Viola Onwuliriat the 3rd Summit of Africa- South Americanleaders in Equatorial Guinea
Before the advent of President Jonathan´s Administration, the negativemedia reports focused on the absence of Nigeria and Nigerians in variousinternational organizations and Commissions. Two years after, we have worked hard to reverse this trend and within thisperiod, we have successfully secured 16 international positions for Nigeria andNigerians. As this high record may be too sweet for some skeptics to believe,I will list the posts here under as follows: Re-election of Dr. Kanayo Nwanze as President of the Internationalfor Agricultural Development (IFAD). Election of Mrs. Oby Nwankwo to the UN Committee on theElimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); Election of Nigeria to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC);
Election of Mr. Adamu Mohammed, a Deputy Commissioner ofPolice, as Vice President of INTERPOL, representing Africa attheir meeting held 31st October – 3 November 2011 in Hanoi,Vietnam; Re-election of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice,Hon. Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN to the International LawCommission; The election of Dr. Chile Eboe-Osuji as one of the 6 Judges ofthe ICC in a tightly contested election in New York;
Election of Hon. Bethel Amadi as the President of thePan-African Parliament; Election of the Deputy Senate President, Senator IkeEkweremadu, as the Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament; Election of Nigeria to the Governing Board of theInternational Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Election of Nigeria as President of the Executive Board ofthe UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment ofWomen; (UN Women); The election of Dr. Kolawole Aduloju as the AssistantSecretary General of the Pan African Postal Union;
Endorsement by the AU of the candidature of Dr. BernardOlumuyiwa Aliu for election as President of the Executive Councilof ICAO based in Montreal, Canada; Re-election of Nigeria to the Peace and Security Council of theAfrican Union, AU Commission on International Law Commissionand re-election into AU Anti-corruption Board – all three positionsat the AU Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2013; Election of Mrs. Julie Onu-Nwariaku into the African Union Anti-corruption Agency, and Election of Professor Obinna Boniface Okere into the AUCommission on International Law.
Nigeria and the United NationsPresident Jonathan andUN Sec- Gen, Ban Ki-moonPresident Jonathanat the UN Security Council Session
Within the International System,membership of the United NationsSecurity Council is highly desired andsought by many countries. Given the leadership role whichNigeria has continued to play inAfrica, it is appropriate to seat on theCouncil, so that Africa´s voice can beheard more effectively. We havereceived the endorsement of ECOWASand African Union for this bid.Nigeria And The United NationsCont’dProfessor U. Joy Ogwu,Nigeria’s Perm. Rep. to the UN
We have worked hard to achievethis objective and wish to assure allNigerians that, by God´s grace,Nigeria will be elected into thisCouncil in October 2013. It will definitely be a befittingpresent to our country to be seatedin the United Nations SecurityCouncil on 1st January, 2014, theyear of our country´s Centenarycelebration. This is the first time Nigeria willreturn to the Council within twoyears of completing our last tenure.Membership of this Council willbring honour, visibility, dignity andprestige to Nigeria.Hon. Minister of State I presiding overSecurity Council Session
19. As a testimony to Nigeria’sstrategic importance in the comity ofnations, President Goodluck Jonathanhas undertaken several trips to manycountries abroad, where he wasreceived very warmly by his hosts andthe resident Nigerian Community.RISING INTERNATIONAL PROFILE cont’d
The President has also in return playedhosts to Heads of State andGovernments delegations from all overthe world including high level visits byUK Prime Minister, the Chancellor ofGermany, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,the Presidents of Brazil, Indonesia,Lebanon, Poland and South Africa. President Jonathan and Uk Prime MinisterPresident Jonathan and Lebanese President in AbujaPresident Jonathan and Brazilian President in Abuja
Also visiting were a number of ForeignMinisters from Germany, Denmark,Finland, Canada, United States tomention a few. This is a clearillustration of the goodwill towardsNigeria and the desire of other countriesto engage Nigeria in recognition of herstrategic place and role in world affairs.Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs andSaudi Arabian Foreign Affairs Minister
20. Within the limited resources available, we are takingmeasures to improve the physical conditions of our Missionsabroad. We have bought properties in some of our Missionsabroad as construction works have been completed inothers. Our properties in London, Pretoria, New York, etc arebeing renovated and work has reached various stages ofcompletion.PHYSICAL APPEARANCE OFOUR MISSIONS ABROAD
Nigeria High Commission, London Staff quarters of Nigeria`s MissionIn Dakar, SenegalConsul General`s residence, Bata, Cameroon Embassy of NigeriaOuagadougou, Burkina FasoPHYSICAL APPEARANCE OF OURMISSIONS ABROAD cont’d
PHYSICAL APPEARANCE OF OURMISSIONS ABROAD cont’dNigeria House, New YorkNigeria High Commission,London, UKNigeria High Commission,London ( Interior)
One of the major challenges facing Nigerian´sforeign policy is the plight of Nigerians invarious prisons abroad. There are currentlyover 9,000 Nigerians in prisons abroad withthe largest number of 752 in the UK. Most ofthe remaining Prisoners are concentrated inthe Asia – Pacific region. CONSULAR MATTERS/WELFARE OFNIGERIANS cont’d
A good number of them are on death row.We are concluding Prisoners’ TransferAgreement (PTA) with all those countriessuch as United Kingdom, Thailand, Japan,China, Indonesia, Switzerland, SouthAfrica, Mozambique, Angola and HongKong, so that we can bring home theprisoners to complete their prison terms. I will like to appeal to members ofdifferent groups, the media, civil societies,religious groups, traditional rulers, etc, tojoin hands in the education of our youthsin an enlightenment campaign againsttrafficking in drugs. This assignmentshould not be left alone to Governmentsat different levels to handleA cross Section of Nigerian Community during a Meeting withPresident Goodluck Jonathan in Islamabad, Pakistan November,2012
As regards relations with the Diplomatic Community in Nigeria,we have insisted that Nigerians are treated with respectand dignity. Our efforts have led to the provision of betterfacilities in the Reception/Waiting areas for applicantsfor visas and other travelling documents at the variousmissions and Visa Collection/Processing Centers inNigeria. I am also pleased to note that, on the basis of ourconstructive engagement with the Diplomatic Corps,the waiting periods for the issuance of visas have beenconsiderably by many of the missions.
Distinguished Ladies andGentlemen, I wish to assure our compatriotsand all foreign policystakeholders that the Ministry ofForeign Affairs would continue tovigorously pursue economicdiplomacy required for thesuccessful prosecution of theTransformation Agenda.President Goodluck Jonathan (1st R), with President AlassaneOuattara of Cote D’ivoire (L),watch as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olugbenga Ashiru (L),Sign Mou with the IvorianMinister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Chales Diby (R),
Our priority is to continue to project Nigeria positively andmake it more attractive to international investors. To dothis, we will continue to strengthen and deepen relationswith our traditional friends, while building and cultivatingnew partnership and alliances around issues vital toNigeria’s national interests. We will also continue to render, with renewed vigour,necessary consular services to Nigerians abroad, includingthe plight of those in detention or in prosions.
Honourable Ministers,Ladies and GentlemenI thank you