The FCT Administration will support the establishment of the Institute of Foreign Relations in Abuja to make the city a hub of diplomacy and multi lateral discourse in Africa.
The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, gave this assurance while receiving members of the Forum of Former Ambassadors of Nigeria, that paid him a visit in his office at Area 11, Garki I District, Abuja.
The Minister said that his Administration would support the Forum because the country requires an independent Think- Thank on foreign affairs to complement the good work being done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to him, the FCT Administration would also discuss this issue with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see how this lofty idea can come to fruition.
His words: “In addition to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we need an independent Think-Thank to assist in interfacing with international organizations and we need to leverage on the experiences of these former Ambassadors.”
He commended the former envoys; reiterating that the establishment of Institute of Foreign Relations in Abuja, similar to CHATHAM House in London and Council on Foreign Relations in New York as well as Washington DC in USA, would go have positive impact not only on Nigeria as a country, but the entire continent of Africa.
Malam Bello emphasized that the patriotic zeal of the Forum will definitely encourage those that are still in service to continue in the service of their fatherland.
The Minister directed the Forum to liaise with the officials of the FCT Administration to identify a prime location befitting for the development of that kind of project.
Speaking earlier, the National Coordinator of the Forum of Former Ambassadors of Nigeria (FOFAN), Ambassador Jerry Ugokwe, revealed that Nigeria has more than 5,000 people who have served the country as Ambassadors in various countries across the globe.
Ambassador Ugokwe said that the Forum has the vision of being Nigeria’s international relations and current affairs think thank.
“The Forum intends to analyze and promote true understanding of Nigeria’s international relations, diplomacy and current affairs through research and publications,” he added.
The National Coordinator noted that the institute, the Forum wants to create will serve as a replica of CHATHAM House, London and Council on Foreign Relations in New York as well as Washington DC in USA, where people will go and speak about foreign policies.
Muhammad Hazat Sule, FCAI
Deputy Director / Chief Press Secretary,
Thursday, February 23, 2017.