By Franklin Alli
” WITH the increasing role of the private sector in the Nigerian economy, the Private sector should be regularly consulted in the articulation of our Foreign policy and its implementation and this should be done in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Nigerian Missions abroad.”
NACCIMA Director-General, Amb Ayoola Olukanni, made the call during the just ended Conference on Review of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy in Abuja.
The Conference was jointly convened by the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as calls for review of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy becomes louder.
In his paper, “Economic Diplomacy and National Development: Effective Optimisation of Public-Private Partnerships,’ Amb Olukanni, drew attention to the fact that the last time a similar Foreign Policy Review Conference took place was 35 years ago at the All Nigeria Foreign Policy Review Conference held at NIPSS in April 1986 at NIPSS Kuru.
“There is now an urgent need for “Kuru 2. This is to review our Foreign policy to reposition Nigeria as a major player in the global economy as the world continues to witness dramatic changes in the global financial system and economic landscape with the emergence of new key actors shaping the global economy.
“Notably the outcome document endorsed the recommendation and agreed that at regular intervals of 5 years, there should be a review of Nigerian Foreign policy.
“This is to ensure adoption of strategic options given dramatic changes in the new world order brought about by dramatic developments in the ICT and global Covid 19 Pandemic with consequences for the global economy and conduct of international relations,” he said.
He was of the view that any Foreign policy thrust should include a robust engagement that will promote the economy of the nation in which the private sector is expected to play a leading role.
In Picture: NACCIMA DG, Ambassador Ayoola being presented a plaque of appreciation by Rt Hon Dr. Yusuf Buba Yakub, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
He pointed out that already several Nigerian conglomerates have emerged as key players in some African countries and their products such as cement and other fast-moving consumer goods dominate the market of those countries
He also spoke of Nigerian Banks and financial institutions that are already major players especially in several African countries.
He drew attention to the thriving Nigeria Digital Private Sector as reflected in the performance of several Nigerian Fintech Companies.
All of these are indications of readiness of the Nigerian Private sector to play a key role in Nigeria’s Economic Diplomatic engagement.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Yusuf Buba Yakub, expressed appreciation to stakeholders who participated in the meeting and especially to NACCIMA as a leading member of the Organised Private sector whose input will be critical in any new Foreign Policy thrust especially in the area of Nigeria’s bilateral and multilateral economic relations.