Foreign Ministry staff laud Onyeama for placing Nigeria top

Supreme Desk
26 May 2023 12:53 PM GMT
Foreign Ministry staff laud Onyeama for placing Nigeria top
Akinremi said that Onyeama was a major push to make Nigerians take critical positions in world bodies like the African Development Bank (AFDB), among others.

Members of staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have commended the Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, for placing Nigeria at the ”top of the multilateral scene”.

Some of the staff made this known during a farewell reception organized in honor of the Minister and the Minister of State, Zubairu Dada, in Abuja after a successful tenure of eight years.

Amb. Bola Akinremi, Director, Economic, Trade, and Investment Division in the Ministry, said that Onyeama brought his expertise from the international organization where he worked for over 30 years to make a positive impact in the Ministry.

Akinremi said that Onyeama was a major push to make Nigerians take critical positions in world bodies like the African Development Bank (AFDB), among others.

He said that Onyeama’s successes and positive impact could also be seen in Nigeria’s robust relationship with other countries and the diplomatic community in Nigeria.

“It is a very rare occasion to find a Minister of Foreign Affairs serving for eight years. Because what we do is not what we make noise about, it is not often in the public domain.

“But this is someone we know has had a great impact on the way things are done. I had the opportunity to work with him when he came to Washington. I was his spokesperson.

“And I knew the antagonism that came with it from politicians, and he took it in his strides. He is not someone who is easily pushed.

“Secondly, where we get to the thick of the work, he was able to bring his professionalism to bear, knowing fully well that he came from the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva.

“So when he came, he was able to blend even though he was not a career diplomat.

“International Organizations got a boost under him; a lot of them are serving there, like the President of the ADB; he made it a reality; it had been going on before he came in; he gave it the necessary push.

“We will miss him, and I personally will miss him,” Akinremi said.

Amb. Francisca Omayuli, Spokesperson for the Ministry, described Onyeama and Dada as teachers and mentors who always ensured they led by example.

“I had the opportunity, like many others, to work with the Minister, who is a mentor, teacher, and gentle but firm leader.

“The same goes for the Minister of State, and it was a great opportunity working with you both,” Omayuli said.

Responding, Onyeama thanked the staff and the Foreign Service Officers for their cooperation and dedication, which were major contributors to his success.

Onyeama said that it was an honor to serve under President Muhammadu Buhari, who takes Nigeria’s interests and foreign relations as a priority, and this can be echoed by all the ministers.

“It was indeed an honor of my life to serve under President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Nigeria’s interests and its relations with other countries are always top priorities for Mr. President, and that is visible in the top positions that Nigerians occupy in multilateral institutions.

“I thank my brother, the Minister of State, with whom we worked together as co-captains to sail this ship. If the Nigerian Civil Service were staffed with him at 60 percent, it would have a positive impact on our country.

“I want to also thank all the diplomats for the great jobs you are doing in your countries of posting despite the challenges, and this can be seen from the warm reception accorded to Mr. President by the presidents of the countries of posting when he visits.

“I also want to thank the staff of the ministry for their unwavering support,” Onyeama said.

Onyeama, however, noted the paucity of funding for the Foreign Service with the hope that it would change for the better.

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