By Alex Enumah in Abuja
Diplomats operating in Nigeria have been told to have respect for the rules and channels of communication; a cardinal principle in international relations, as they carry out their legitimate duties in the country.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olusola Enikanolaiye, gave the advise during a farewell and welcome dinner, held in honour of both the out-going Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Bulus Lolo and the incoming Enikanolaiye, at the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja.
Enikanolaiye, while assuring diplomats, staff of the ministry and the public of his willingness to run an open door policy, condemned the situation where diplomats bye-pass the ministry and deal directly with the government or its organs, adding that the ministry would no longer tolerate such conducts.
The permanent secreatry also reiterated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs remains the best channel to diplomats, and urged them to always resort first to the ministry if and when they are facing challenges.
Enikonalaiye, who before his appointment as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the acting High Commissioner to India, pledged his total commitment to the realisation of the goals of the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as regards foreign policy.
According to him, the country’s foreign policy would focus on three core areas of the Buhari administration which are the economy, security and anti-corruption, even as he promised to build on the legacies of his predecessor.
Out-going permanent secretary, Lolo, who reposed confidence in Enikanolaiye’s ability to deliver on his mandate, noted that the incoming permanent secretary is not only an experienced career diplomat but one who has contributed significantly to the development and articulation of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
Lolo, in a farewell speech thanked President Buhari for the privilege to serve, particularly during the period when the administration was yet to appoint a substantive minister for the ministry.
He appreciated the staff for their immense support towards the successes he recorded and urged them to extend similar support to the in-coming permanent secretary, adding that the success of the administration and nation required a collective effort.