The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Monday said Nigeria’s foreign policy should be reviewed so as to address funding of terrorism, other security threats and huge unemployment it’s currently facing.
Gbajabiamila stated this in Abuja at the opening of a three-day conference on the review of Nigeria’s foreign policy, organized by the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Speaker also said the country should define the terms of its foreign policy by engaging other nations in finding solutions to new challenges and threats so that collectively, they can address them.
He made reference to climate change, easy flow of capital and the rapid growth of technology as some of the new challenges altering the way the world functioned in the past.
He said:”Today in Nigeria, we face two existential threats of insecurity and unemployment that have caused a deep loss of faith amongst our people. All our governing efforts must be geared towards finding solutions to these problems. Whereas the rest of the government looks inwards, it is the mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to look outward. It is not an easy task.
”To do this, we must establish the values that underpin and motivate our foreign policy as this is necessary to determine everything else, including how we protect our country from the downside of globalization while ensuring our people benefit from the opportunities that abound.”
Gbajabiamila assured the audience that the House of Representatives stands ready to be an effective partner in advancing the nation’s foreign policy objectives.
Earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hon. Yusuf Yakub, observed that the world has become highly-dynamic and requires a comprehensive foreign policy response from Nigeria beyond the age-long position of Africa being the centerpiece, a non-aligned nation and practicing democracy.
He said: “It is about time we had a fully and comprehensively articulated document that addresses what we call the foreign policy of Nigeria. Though foreign policy in its true nature is dynamic, such a document must encompass as well as engender ideals that will make Nigeria maximize the gains of its relationship with every other part of the outside world, be it Asia, Africa, Europe or the Americas.”
Also, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, in his remark said: “This is an excellent and timely initiative by the House of Representatives to review the foreign policy of this country. We thank Mr. Speaker and we look forward to the outcome of this conference.”