By Osaji Joy
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria has honoured 110 retired staff for their contribution to the nation’s development while in service.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, during a valedictory ceremony held in Abuja in honour of the staff who retired between 2019 and 2022, urged them to avail themselves any opportunity for national assignment even in retirement.
Mr. Onyeama who appreciated the retirees for their selfless service to the country, by spending most of their career life oversees, said they deserved to be honoured.
He explained that based on his interaction with other diplomats across the globe, Nigerian foreign service officials have exhibited capacity and good knowledge of their profession which had made the country more visible among the community of nations.
Mr. Onyeama who paid tribute to those who passed on after retirement urged those still in service to be hard working and professional while discharging their duties.
He said in his six years working as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, he had met with some of the retirees and acknowledged their rich knowledge of their professional background.
The Minister urged the retirees to also see retirement as an opportunity to provide more inputs into development issues of the country.
He said their services were duly recognised by diplomats and other nationals who have come into contact with them in the course of their service.
Me Onyeama said the Diplomatic Community and other nationals acknowledged the quality of human resources in Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs ministry.
He told the retirees that their training in the diplomatic service should position them to serve even in elective positions.
“I would like to congratulate you all. I know how challenging it has been for me for six years.
“I think each and every one of you deserves an award for going through 30 years of service.
“This is a ministry that appreciates all your qualities; perseverance, intellect, and physical strength, travelling from country to country for years.
“It is quite a challenge, and you deserve real appreciation of the people of this country bcause in the diplomatic sphere, Nigeria is still highly regarded,” he said.
Mr. Onyeama said that in spite of the onerous challenges, the ministry was still delivering real dividends at the international level.
He stated that this feat was achieved through the hardwork of personnel who work in the ministry over the years.
“So, those of us that we are celebrating tonight, you really deserve our commendation and gratitude as Nigerians,” Onyeama said.
The Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, DOOPS in the ministry, Ambassador Janet Olise commended the retirees for their dedication, hardwork, perseverance, and selflessness.
“You have all played your role by giving the best of your service to our dear motherland, Nigeria.
“We know that you are the heroes, not only on paper but not seen because you have all been working behind the scene.
”You are the leading implementations of all government policies.
“No doubt, the nation has been better with the services you have provided. It is for these reasons and more that you deserve to be honoured,” Olise said.
One of the retirees, a former Director in the Ministry, Ambassador Faruk Danjuma, in a vote of thanks appreciated the Minister and the Ministry for honouring them.