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‘Only trusted hands will be career ambassadors’

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[FILES] Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama. Photo: TWITTER/GEOFFREYONYEAMA

The Federal government has declared that only trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the foreign service will be appointed as career ambassadors.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said this on Sunday in Abuja at a valedictory dinner organised in honour of Director of Protocol (DOP), State House, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed.

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Ahmed is Nigeria’s Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar.

The minister said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated foreign service practitioners to serve as image-makers of the country.

“Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed is a dedicated professional with a penchant for rigour and detail. He is very capable and one of the best in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He is personable, affable, extremely friendly, dispassionate and objective. He is going to head a very important mission, a very important country, reckoned to be one of the richest countries in the world, per capita, and there’s a lot we will be doing with the State of Qatar,” he said.

He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had visited Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani, reciprocated in 2019.

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According to the minister, there have been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), for significant investments of about $5 billion in Nigeria.

“It is a weighty and strategic country in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas,” the minister said.

The Deputy Chief of Staff, Adeola Ipaye, described the honouree as a perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out.”

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, lauded Ahmed for excellent service to the State House and the nation.

Responding, Ahmed thanked Buhari for the honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Qatar.

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