Shettima: Nigeria lives with multiple, contemporary challenges

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By Patrick Wemambu

Vice President, Kashim Shettima, has said that Nigeria is plagued with a myriad of historic limitations and multiple contemporary challenges, acknowledging however that the administration cannot claim to be self-sufficient in answers to dealing with poverty levels, limited resources for critical infrastructure and raising skilled and educated younger citizens.

The remark was made on Monday during the Inauguration of the Academy of International Affairs, Nigeria, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja.

Speaking through his special adviser on political matters, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the vice president enthused that it was a great honour to witness the birth of an academy which has potentials to make great improvements in the management of the country’s foreign policy.

He explained; “It is even more remarkable that the inspiration and impetus behind the formation of this Academy was entirely the initiative of distinguished foreign service officers who have paid their dues to our country many times over. History will record this day as a key bookmark in the place of our elite in keeping the faith that our country can continue to rely on them to place before it their entire assets in patriotism, skills and competences.”
Showering encomiums on foreign service officers for what he termed their undying passion of service to the fatherland, the guest speaker alluded to a widely-held truism that nations which know what is best for them trust the conduct of their foreign policy only to their best and the brightest.

“Your Excellencies, this Academy is emerging at a period of its greatest need. The international environment is becoming increasingly more complex and more demanding of our best intellects, professionalism, commitments and visions to find spaces within areas demanding consensus, or in competitions with others and managing conflicts,” Shettima observed, inviting ideas and recommendations from those concerned towards achieving government priorities in the contexts of often harsh and unforgiving circumstances.

Despite the severity of challenges bedeviling the nation, the audience was informed that the Tinubu administration was convinced that Nigeria shall survive.

The vice president ended on an optimistic note; “What we need is faith and support, the same assets that saw us through major challenges in our past. We need to begin to think of a future full of opportunities as well. In the next two decades, Nigeria will have one of the largest, youngest and most enterprising population in a world that will be aging and changing. We need to survive our current challenges with courage, wisdom, patriotism and vision of a great future full of our opportunities for the next generation of Nigerians.”

Earlier in an opening speech, Amb. Godknows Igali, first vice president of the Academy of International Affairs, had welcomed guests to the event on behalf of Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, founder of the Academy and former minister of Foreign Affairs. Noting that the assemblage of fellows and honorees of the body were senior citizens who had served the country in various capacities in the past, Igali was happy that the occasion was coming at a time when robust foreign policy blueprint had been set out for the nation. This, he believed, would open up great vistas on how the Academy could collaborate with government towards achieving lofty identified objectives.

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