- FG is recalibrating foreign affairs, says Ministry
Determined to drive a new foreign policy, President Bola Tinubu has approved the recall of more than 100 career and non-career Ambassadors.
Also affected are Heads of Consulate or charge d’affaires in all the nation’s embassies and High Commissions.
The only exemptions are the country’s Permanent Representatives at the United Nations in New York and Geneva.
The envoys have till October 31 to clear their desks and return home.
The Senate had in June and July 2020 confirmed 83 Ambassadors, including 42 career and 41 non-career.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the recall was part of a “recalibration of the nation’s foreign affairs structure.”
The ministry said the recall of the envoys has no political undertone neither is it targeted at any Ambassador.
The letter reads: “I have the honour to notify you of Mr. President’s decision to recall you, signaling the end of your tenure as Ambassador …
It was gathered that Tuggar later placed calls to some of the Ambassadors on Friday to explain the government’s position.”
He said: “The Minister acted on the President’s directive to recall all Ambassadors and Heads of Consulate.
“It is not an isolated recall and there is no political motive. All the Ambassadors were asked to return home.
“The recall of the Ambassadors is just a process of recalibration. Mr. President has a new Foreign Policy known as 4Ds. In line with the new policy, there is need to recalibrate.
“The policy is to reclaim and afford Nigeria the opportunity to play its Big Brother’s status.”
Abdulkadir clarified that the recall of the Ambassadors will not affect services in the missions.
He said: “This recalibration will not affect the operation of the embassies. Full consular service will still continue. Remember, there are other embassy staff and local staff. It is a routine process; it happens most of the time.
Asked why the Ambassadors were not allowed to serve out their tenure of four years, the Special Adviser said: “Being an Ambassador is not an elective position. All Ambassadors serve at the behest of the Nigerian President.
“It is a recalibration. Some of them may be reappointed.”
The document reads: “Firstly, Democracy – As the continent’s largest democracy, Nigeria will continue to support political change through tenured elections, rather than through violence.
“Strengthening democracy in the region not only creates a pathway to enhanced peace and stability, it could help to address the issue of ungoverned spaces and counter marginalization that contributes to insurgency, banditry and piracy. In this regard, the ongoing situation in Niger Republic represents a major challenge that Nigeria, together with ECOWAS, will seek to resolve swiftly.
“Secondly, Nigeria’s foreign policy will be underpinned by our quest for sustainable socio-economic Development.
“The multidimensional nature of development necessitates inclusive engagement with a broad set of stakeholders. Diplomacy is key to establishing partnerships that facilitate trade and investment, as well as strengthen local capacities.
“By effectively implementing strategic initiatives, such as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Nigeria can drive economic growth both internally and across the region.
“Thirdly, under this administration, Nigeria will seek to take full advantage of its Demography. Nigeria’s population presently stands at over 200 million, with projections suggesting that it could reach more than 370 million by the year 2050.
“In addition, our massive youth population is a significant boom, providing the country with a potentially immense active workforce and consumption base.
“With a sizeable yet underrepresented share of the world’s population, Nigeria also deserves a larger voice at the highest level of multilateral decision making.
“Last but certainly not the least, Nigeria’s Diaspora will form a major area of focus in the years ahead. Nigeria boasts a strong presence in many countries across the world.
“A stronger relationship between the Diaspora and home could provide significant benefit to the country. Already, the Diaspora remits over US$20 billion, representing four times Nigeria’s FDI inflows.
“Closer engagement would allow Nigeria to leverage our highly skilled and successful citizens around the world to facilitate potential knowledge transfer and investment in the country.”
Tuggar said the 4-D policy was a “bold approach” to diplomacy by the Federal Government.
He added: “The 4-D Diplomacy represents a bold new approach to Nigeria’s foreign policy.
“As Minister of Foreign Affairs, I will not shy away from innovation, tough decisions or change. However, I cannot achieve anything alone; I will rely on the able and competent staff of the ministry, cooperate closely with my fellow ministers and seek to fortify Nigeria’s relationships with international partners.
“In doing so, we can more effectively promote national and regional interests, ensure security and stability, as well as facilitate long-term sustainable development.”
Presidency: Why UN Permanent Representatives were exempted
In a separate statement yesterday, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Ajuri Ngelale, said Nigeria’s UN Permanent Representative would remain at his duty post owing to the upcoming United Nations’ General Assembly (UNGA) later this month.
President Tinubu is scheduled to address the General Assembly.
Agegale said his principal’s directive on the recall of the ambassadors was “sequel to his careful study of the present state of affairs at Nigerian Consulate Offices and Embassies worldwide, and in line with the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda, the President is determined to ensure that world-class efficiency and quality will henceforth characterize foreign and domestic service delivery to citizens, residents and prospective visitors alike.
“To this end, the President further directs that Nigeria’s United Nations Permanent Representatives in New York and Geneva be exempted from this total recall, in view of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly holding later this month.
“By the directive of the President, the recall of the affected officers takes immediate effect.”