Nigeria to launch Economic Diplomacy Initiative next month

Adoba Echono, Abuja

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The Federal Government is to launch the Nigerian Economic Diplomacy Initiative April 5, 2018 to facilitate global market access for Nigerian products.

Spokesperson Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tiwatope Elias-Fatile, stated this in Abuja at a bi-weekly briefing on the activities of the Ministry.

Dr. Elias-Fatile said that the programme is the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade and Investment to spur economic growth and development through facilitation of market access and Foreign Direct Investment.

“This initiative aimed to spur economic growth and development through facilitation of market access, Foreign Direct Investments, crosses border trade and recruitment of skilled Nigerians in the Diaspora for our national development,” Dr. Elias-Fatile, explained.

“It also seeks to contribute to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal government by facilitating global market access for Nigeria’s small and medium scale businesses,” he added.

The programme, which will be ICT driven will be launched by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo this year.

Libya Slavery Victims

On evacuation of Nigerians trapped in the slave camp in Libya, Dr. Elias-Fatile stated that the government is working round the clock to ensure that all Nigerians are brought back to the country.

He said that the Ministry was in constant touch with the Nigerian Mission in Libya over the matter and that successes had been recorded in efforts being made by the government.

Dr. Elias-Fatile however noted that one of the challenges faced,  was that some of the victims were not willing to return to Nigeria despite all the efforts being made to evacuate them back home safely.

“On the evacuation of Nigeria from Libya we are making good progress in that regards, I spoke with the Charge d’ Affairs in Libya few weeks ago over the issue,” Dr. Elias-Fatile confirmed.

“Some of the challenges the mission had, has to do with documentation of Nigerians in some areas that were difficult to access. They have now begun to have access to some of them; not all, those whose documentation have been completed are still being evacuated as we speak,” he said.

He said that progress was being made but due procedure had to be followed.

“Everything has a procedure the first procedure is identifying them as Nigerians, documenting them before the process of evacuating them. Don’t also forget that in the process of identifying them as Nigerians, some are refusing to leave, they said they must get to Europe by all means. The media should assist in the campaign crusade to enlighten the parents in the danger inherent in this journey,” Dr. Elias-Fatile said.

He commended the traditional rulers for rising up to the task of championing the campaign against trafficking from their domain.

“There is an improvement in the campaign against trafficking. It is a plus, I am very optimistic that we should begin to see a decline in the exodus of Nigerians illegally to other countries running away from Nigeria to Europe through illegal means.”

Dr. Elias-Fatile said that Federal Government was concerned about the welfare of Nigerians living abroad and would do everything to protect them within the limit of the law.

He therefore urged Nigerians living outside the country to always behave well by abiding with the rules and regulation of their host countries.

Dr. Elias-Fatile said that they should always avoid a situation whereby they would breach the law of the land that would put the Nigerians mission in a tight corner.

Omolayo.A