The outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Friday described Nigeria as a country that has no natural enemy but committed to forging peace and stability among African and other countries.
Onyeama, who made the disclosure in Lagos at the graduation and closing ceremony of the 23rd Regular Course of the Nigerian Foreign Service Academy, added that Nigeria was one of the most friendly countries.
He said: “Nigeria has no natural enemy. It is well known that Nigeria is a friendly, and Nigerians are friendly.
“This is why so many countries want to engage with Nigeria in different areas. Nigeria has established herself as a country that loves peace and stability.”
Onyeama, who congratulated the 23rd Regular Course graduands for successfully completing their studies at the academy, urged them to be good representatives of Nigeria wherever they would be posted in the future.
The minister charged them to be selfless but ensure that they positively projected the good image of Nigeria and Africa to the rest of the world.
He said: “You have to absolutely define the ideals that our country, Nigeria, holds dear. You have to be a representative of this country and Nigerians wherever you are posted.
“You must know that these are turbulent and challenging times that you are going to be operating in.
“Today, you all are making a grand entrance into the global stage. So Nigeria, your country and Africa expect much from you. You are the chosen set charged with promoting your country abroad.”
Onyeama reminded the graduands that they had been trained to at all times protect, promote and service the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.
He also advised them to always know that promoting Nigeria’s positive image in other countries largely depended on their career, adding that they must work hard and stay focused in their assignments.
Dr Cyprian Terseer, the Director of the Nigerian Foreign Service Academy, commended the outgoing minister whom, he said, had in the last four years piloted the affairs of the Ministry with efficiency and effectiveness.
Terseer also enjoined the graduands against taking the Foreign Service as an avenue to become rich, but to always demonstrate a sense of duty, self-discipline, transparency and a sense of nationalism.
The academy’s director said that the 101 graduands, who began training on July 30, 2018, had within the last nine months been equipped with knowledge and skills for their diplomatic practice.
Terseer, however, said that the academy was currently under-staffed, adding that there was also the need to recruit more competent officers in the ongoing efforts at repositioning the academy.
He added: “The academy is grossly under-staffed and there is compelling need to deploy competent officers that will support the current drive toward repositioning the institution.”