Osinbajo: Nigeria’s Foreign Policy Must Factor in Economic Recession

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Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called for a broad review of Nigeria’s foreign policy and strategy in lieu of the dynamic and changing global environment.

He added that economically, Nigeria’s foreign policy must take account of the ongoing recession and accompanying fiscal constraints.

The vice president, who was represented by Senior Special Adviser on Economic Affairs, Amb. Adeyemi Dipeolu made the call in Abuja at
Stakeholders Conference on “Nigeria’s Foreign Policy and strategy: Responses to the Dynamics of tue Domestic and Global Environments in the 21st Century;” organised by National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

According to him, “we live in a dynamic and changing global environment. It is proper that we undertake a broad review of our foreign policy and strategy.” He added that some possible areas he expected to be factored into deliberation at the workshop and the eventual policy that would emanate include overall security, corruption and the economy, which he noted are matters of great priority to the Buhari’s administration with a view to determining Nigeria’s role in the global landscape and the challenges of managing the global communityA.

”In terms of security, we must be concern about our conventional ability to protect and defend our sovereignty and our territorial integrity including the ability to afford and procure arms important to us will be how to reduce the effect of terrorism a global scourge which surfaced here in the form of Boko Haram.

“While there may be room for debate about this phenomenon that arose purely out of domestic circumstances and as part of the global terror network, what is not in doubt is that event in places like Somalia, Mali and Libya impacted on the situation here. It is for such reason that development in our neighbourhood and indeed the rest of Africa must continue to be at the forefront of our foreign policy concern.

“Our tradition leading role in peace keeping secured Nigeria’s reputation as a honest broker in seeking to resolve disputes in global troubled spots. It also boosts our potential as actor in global peace and security while enabling our military and police personnel to gain valuable experience. This is an important contribution that Nigeria must continue to make as it seeks to be of service on a permanent basis in the maintenance of international peace and security in the United Nations Security Council,” he added.

Osinbajo stressed that, “securing the return of illicit financial flow is a matter of great importance that should be reflected in our foreign policy priority.

“In economic terms, our foreign policy must take account of the ongoing recession and accompanying fiscal constraints. It must also factor in the recent populace reaction in several developed countries due to the effect of globalization. While it is too early to predict a rollback of the open trade and financial systems that we are now all used to, it will be important to explore in details,” he said.

The fight against corruption, he said is on the global agenda as demonstrated by the coming into force of the UN convention against corruption, as well as the African Convention on Combating and prevention of corruption.

“Apart from the implication of the fight against corruption for the political, social and economic life of the nation, the Panama paper saga reminds us that there is an important international dimension, including the pull back of tax heaven and international finances jurisdiction,” Osinbajo said.