Experts, seasoned international relations scholars and practitioners, 13 July, 2023, converged on the Conference Chambers of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) to brainstorm on Nigeria’s Foreign Policy challenges and to chart a foreign policy agenda for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration in the next four years.
In his welcome remarks at the roundtable, NIIA’s Director-General, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, said the core objective of the Institute as a ‘Think-Tank’ was to guide the nation on her international relations and foreign policy choices and direction.
Prof. Osaghae further emphasized the importance of strengthening the domestic front as fulcrum for the effective application and implementation of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
He recommended that Nigeria should embarked on regional & multilateral partnerships, citizen diplomacy and economic diplomacy as an astute foreign policy spark for Nigeria.
The Chairman of the event, Prof. Adele Jinadu, decried the passive roles played by academics in shaping Nigeria’s domestic and international well-being.
He said the docility was an offshoot of political patronages. He however, urged the government to fully implement its obligations to the citizens as stipulated in Chapter two of the 1999 Constitution in order to strengthen the nation’s domestic and foreign outlooks.
Consul-General of the Consulate of China, Yan Yuqing, Consul General, Madame Bessem Manga of Cameroon and Chandramaouli Kumar Kern, Consul – General of India affirmed their countries’ readiness to deepen partnerships with Nigeria in diverse fronts especially in economics and trade.
Other presenters and discussants who were present at the roundtable, also look at various angles for an effective foreign policy formulation and implementation the Bola Tinubu led administration should pivot on for optimum results.
The aspects of foreign policy that was looked at included: the root problems and challenges of Nigeria’s foreign policy, dealing with security imperatives in the Sahel, the utility and necessity of Afrocentric foreign policy, economic diplomacy, the importance of national identity towards the reviewing and retooling of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
Scholars of international relations and expert who were present at the roundtable included: Prof. Prof. Hassan Saliu, Bola Akinterinwa, Prof. Femi Otubanjo, Prof. Femi Mimiko, Assoc. Prof. Efem Ubi, Assoc. Prof. Sharkdam Wapmuk, Dr. Joshua Bolarinwa, Dr. Omotola Ilesanmi, Dr.Murtala Muhammed, Dr. Adesuwa Erediauwa, Amb Aderemi Ajibewa, Amb. Gani Lawal, Amb. Adenika Ukonga amongst others.