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Tuggar: Nigeria’s Agreements with UAE An Ongoing Process, Joint Statement Will Clarify Issues 

He said Tinubu’s shuttle diplomacy is “very beneficial” for Nigeria, citing $14bn investments pledged by India.

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, has said that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s shuttle diplomacy has brought many gains for Nigeria, terming it as “very beneficial” for the country.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Friday, Tuggar spoke on the benefits that President Tinubu’s administration had brought the nation after he took diplomatic trips to India and the United Arab Emirates, seeking to bring in investments from different places into Nigeria.

Regarding investments that were brought about due to these trips, Tuggar said, “There was a commitment in India to invest about $14 billion. A large part of it from businesses that are already in Nigeria such as Indorama, so they’re looking to expand. And some of it from new businesses looking to come into Nigeria. 

“So, this is the sort of proactive approach to attracting investments that we require, engaging directly with the businesses, and of course, for governments to give support to create the right environment, the right ambience for businesses to thrive. So, we’re on the right course.”

Tuggar then addressed the lifting of the visa ban by the UAE, saying that it is still a work in progress. He said, “It’s still an ongoing process, it’s a partnership, it’s repairing otherwise frayed nerves, if you will, for lack of a better phrase, and it’s better that whatever we do, we do in partnership with the UAE, so, I will not want to dwell too much on what is going on there or from our own side. So, there will be, I’m sure, joint statements that will clarify everything that has transpired and is unfolding, but it is positive.”

Tuggar then spoke on President Tinubu’s approaching visit to the United Nations General Assembly, where he will be addressing the 78th Session of the high-level UNGA General Debate at the UN headquarters in New York. 

“It’s going to be President Tinubu’s maiden address at the United Nations. So, it’s quite significant. He’s going to set the tone of his administration,” he said.

The minister then said, “I will expect that he will introduce his 8-Point agenda, which actually corresponds for the most part with the goal of the United Nations,” noting that Tinubu’s agenda which includes food security, poverty eradication, access to capital, inclusivity, fighting corruption, and others, overlap with the UNs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He also expressed Nigeria’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine way saying, “Nigeria condemned the invasion of Ukraine by Russia at the United Nations. Now, it does not mean that we know longer have maintained relations with Russia, or we don’t deal with Russia. No, we are calling for an end to the conflict and we have not taken this position of you’re either with us or against us in regard to our dealing with either side, and we will continue to do so.”

Tuggar went on to reveal the agenda of the ministry of foreign affairs, saying, “We in the ministry of foreign affairs also have the 4 Ds. Diplomacy, which is development, it’s Democracy, it’s Demography, and it’s also diaspora. So, these are areas to watch out for and that are charting the course for the administration as far as implementation of its policies is concerned, both domestic and foreign policy.”

Speaking on the Diaspora part of its policy, Tuggar noted, “We intend to improve the quality of services being provided for by our embassies to Nigerians in the diaspora as well as to citizens of other nations. 

“So, in terms of quality of service with regards to passport renewals, in regard to visa issuance… we intend to up the game so that the quality of service improves. 

“We consider diasporians a very very important segment of our foreign policy because they are the first contact that non-Nigerians have with Nigeria.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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