President Goodluck Jonathan
By Ahamefula Ogbu
President Goodluck Jonathan Thursday said Nigeria would open embassies and representational offices in all African countries in furtherance of policy of ensuring peace in the continent and making Africa the centrepiece of Nigeria's foreign policy.
Jonathan stated this while receiving the new Ambassador of Mauritania to Nigeria, Mr. B.A. Abderrahmane. He explained that economic and social stability of the continent was of prime importance to him.
According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the President expressed commitment to promoting the practice of democratic governance in Africa through working with other governments as it is easier to promote good governance under representative government.
“Africa remains the centrepiece of our foreign policy and I have always believed that if real progress and development are to come to Africa, we must initiate them ourselves. We cannot keep waiting for others to do them for us.
“Establishing functional relationships amongst ourselves is a necessary first step in this regard and we are committed to ultimately having full diplomatic representation in all African nations,” Jonathan said.
He also received letters of credence from Ambassadors of Thailand, Mr. Somchai Powcharon, and his Bangladesh counterpart, Nur Mohammed, who he charged to work towards improving the already good relationship between Nigeria and their countries.
Jonathan told them that possible areas of cooperation between Nigeria and their countries include agriculture and the development of small and medium scale industries which he asked them to invite their businessmen to take advantage of the numerous opportunities.
In an earlier interaction with the Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Austria, Mr. Michael Spindelegger, who led a delegation of investors to Nigeria, Jonathan asked them to avail themselves of the numerous investment opportunities especially in solid minerals and power generation.
“We want to end the era of our people generating power for themselves. We are fully committed to stabilising and boosting public power supply because we know that unless this is done, we cannot stimulate economic growth the way we want with the development of more small and medium scale industries,” he told them.
He also received the outgoing Malaysian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Mustafa Ahmad, who he commended for enhancing the relations between his country and Nigeria and especially for the training of Niger Delta militants under the Amnesty Programme of his government.