Onyeama extols Nigeria’s security as top success story
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has identified security as a major success so far recorded by President Muhammadu Buhari led administration since the past five years.
Onyeama, who spoke as a guest at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum on Tuesday in Abuja, attributed success in fights against terrorism to the Federal Government’s focus on security.
On the challenges and achievement of the government in the past, the minister identified security, effective foreign policy and improvement in international trade cooperation, as top success stories.
“Security has been an achievement in the sense that we have been able to mobilise the support of foreign countries, African countries and the international community in the fight against terrorism.
“We have been able to make it a priority for the international community and get that support and I think that is a real success.
“We have heard that as a result of the terrorism challenges, there has been a humanitarian crisis,’’ Onyeama said.
According to him, at one time, Nigeria was listed with South Sudan, Yemen and Somalia as countries likely to have a famine as countries of great crisis.
“We were able to mobilise the international community, starting with the Oslo conference in Norway and then Oslo-2 conference.
“We mobilised over $2 billion for humanitarian assistance for countries of the Lake Chad area.’’
The minister listed efforts being made to get major donors to support Nigeria in the huge humanitarian challenge with over two million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), as part of successes recorded.
He commended the emergence of President Buhari as an eminent personality in ECOWAS, to further promote his administration’s vision on democracy and good governance within the West African sub-region.
The minister said that Nigeria’s intervention in the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Togo, Mali and other West African countries during crises, has helped to stabilised the sub-region, recognised for good democratic governance.
He explained that success recorded through intervention, based on “Buhari doctrine” of outreach to mediate and establish good relations with immediate neighbours, has enabled the country to achieve a lot.
According to him, the strategy forms a key component of Buhari’s success in the bid to keep a good relationship with immediate neighbouring countries.
“In the area of the economy, a major achievement has been an outreach to a number of countries around the world to let them know that Nigeria is ready for business.
“We are coming out of a very difficult situation.
“You might recall at a time how the cost of petroleum crashed to below $30 a barrel and we had real economic challenges.
“The big aim was to promote foreign direct investment and so, Mr President went on major outreach to foreign countries and partners, promoting Nigeria and inviting foreign direct investment,’’ the minister added.
Onyeama told NAN that although insecurity posed a challenge of bringing potential investors into the country, a lot of progress had been made to beef up security to encourage business development.
He revealed that the successes recorded through the outreach have translated into the resuscitation of Ajaokuta Steel, Mambilla Dam and other major infrastructural projects across the country.
The minister noted that in spite of the challenges facing in the country, Buhari was focused to make the country an attractive place for investment and businesses.
He reeled out the success recorded to include Nigeria’s rating by World Bank index as a business destination, good governance, the appointment of President Buhari by African Union as Anti-Corruption Champion and restitution of stolen assets.
“A lot of these have been due to the credibility of Mr President and his respect among his peers around the world.
“We have cooperated with a number of countries to develop new industries here and one of them is the fertiliser industry.
“We have been able to get the cooperation of countries, to help us establish the building bloc, to be able to produce a more affordable rate of fertilisers in our country.
“To push towards agrarian reform and agricultural revolution of Mr President, we have lots of bilateral agreements, with countries that we believe will make big difference to our economy,’’ Onyeama said.
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