COVID-19: Experts advocate need for review of Nigeria’s foreign policy

Nigeria’s foreign policy like those in other places is expected to achieve great benefits for Nigeria and her citizen but this expectation, by the judgment of many informed Nigerians, is yet to be fully realised.

Nigeria’s foreign policy inter alia has failed to work out the transformation of Nigeria’s status and Nigerians’ lives from where it is, to where it should be.

What possibly could answer for this foreign policy failure? In response to the video and web conferencing, webinars and screen sharing, organised by Public Affairs and Diplomacy Centre in partnership with FIN, the communique looked into the mixed and myriad challenges that have vexed Nigeria’s foreign policy from the formative years of her foreign policy formulation and implementation to the present.

The finding is that the persistence of these challenges due to neglect, bad and irresponsible leadership is debilitating to Nigeria’s foreign policy output and has made foreign policy performance leave much to be desired.

The conference concludes with a number of recommended suggestions as a panacea to the identified teething challenges.

According to the moderator, Ambassador Akin Fayomi, Former Nigerian Ambassador to France & Managing Partner, Public Affairs & Diplomacy Centre (PADICE), Nigeria, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has, no doubt, affected what we know as international relations and has also caused diplomatic tensions all over the globe.

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Fayomi said that, Indeed, it appears that a new world order looms. Hitherto friendly nations are at loggerheads, and the blame games are the in things. Conversely, some countries are becoming chummy.

Speaking on the foreign policy challenges, Ambassador Joe Keshi, Former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria, said that the novel virus caught the world totally unprepared, thereby creating unprecedented and unprepared responses.

This new experience has created a sudden transmogrification in global affairs and policies.

Nigeria, a member of the comity of nations, is equally affected but we are positive this global lockdown serves us an opportunity to possibly review and realign Nigeria’s Foreign Policy to the new realities of national interests.

Also, Professor Jide Owoeye, Professor of International Relations and Pro-Chancellor, Lead City University, Nigeria, said that the webinar presents an opportunity to convey strategies and policies Nigeria can amend and possibly implement for building a better and viable bilateral and multilateral relationships.

Earlier, Professor Bola Akinterinwa, President, Bolytag Centre for International Diplomacy & Strategic Studies, Nigeria and, former Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs disclosed that the webinar will review the blueprint of Nigeria’s foreign policy and the opportunities created by the present situation.

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