The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, has said he will make President Muhammadu Buhari’s Next Level Agenda to be felt on the foreign scene.
Onyeama stated this on assumption of office in Abuja in an interactive meeting with the management staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Onyeama added that the administration’s focus on security, anti-corruption and the economy would no doubt be paramount.
He also said that citizens’ diplomacy would also take the centre stage, assuring that a telephone number would be made available for Nigerians to call wherever they are across the world for immediate response issues of any kind.
Onyeama stated that the move would help to ensure that the nation is providing the best service it can to her people.
He further said as a help desk for every Nigerian around the world, if Nigerians have any complaint, it would be addressed at the highest possible level.
Onyeama also said the security of Nigerians around the world would be taken seriously in an aggressive and robust manner by engaging countries to ensure that the rights and security of Nigerians anywhere in the world are respected.
“Essentially, the priorities of Mr. President are what we have to focus on and build from there – security, anti-corruption, and the economy,” Onyeama said.
On attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, Onyeama took note of the bi-national commission between both countries at the presidential level, adding that the government was looking at a special relationship between South Africa and Nigeria.
He said the effort could be a game-changer for Africa in the same way as the German-Franco alliance after the Second World War was an engine to the European Union.
“So, we would like to see a situation where that would be the case – South Africa and Nigeria driving Africa economically, socially for the next 50 or so years. And in that framework, we need to address this issue of the security of Nigerians in South Africa at the very highest level.
“So, when the two presidents are engaged in this, I think that all those below that have to do something, will be forced to do something, and in particular, the South African police.
“As I mentioned, there is a trust deficit between Nigerians living in South Africa and the South African police. And I think it is important that we get the two working together to address this issue.
“So, it is something we are going to be taking up obviously at the ministerial level, but most importantly, at the level of the president,” Onyeama assured.
On regional integration, Onyeama said Nigeria would avail itself of the opportunity of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) to define the success of the AfCFTA.
“So, we are going to cooperate and coordinate with the Ministry of Trade and others to ensure that we get maximum benefit for African integration,” Onyeama added.
Addressing the issue of anti-corruption, Onyeama assured that the government would continue to engage various countries of the world to ensure the repatriation of looted funds.