Regional Seminal for Nigerian Heads of Mission in the Americas and the Caribbean Region

By Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs (HMFA), Ambassador Olugbenga A. Ashiru, MFR, today, 29th April, 2013, declared open the Regional Seminal for Heads of Mission in the Americas and the Caribbean Region at the Nigeria House, New York.

In his opening remarks, the Honourable Minister informed the gathering that the aim of the Seminar was to enable participants rub minds and come out with useful suggestions on the way forward to assist the Ministry attain the theme of the Seminar, which centered on “Investment Promotion Strategies and Consular Issues”. He reminded the Heads of Mission that every aspect of the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government has a foreign component, which should inform deliberation at the Seminar.

The HMFA told the participants that he was aware that the economies of most countries in the Americas had witnessed downward growth following the recent global economic recession of the past. This development places huge challenges on the efforts of Nigerian Missions efforts in the Sub-region to attract needed investible funds for the Nigerian economy. According to the Minister, the Heads of Mission have to double their efforts in this direction, as Nigeria is in competition with other countries especially the emerging markets, for America's investible funds.

The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs reminded the Heads of Mission of the need to take the issue of Consular challenges affecting Nigerians in their hoist country very seriously.

The Honourable Minister also spoke about the need for harmonious working relationships amongst staff of the Missions, including effective liaison with Headquarters so as to achieve the goals and objectives of the Federal Government.

The Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, Ambassador U. Joy Ogwu, also delivered a welcome address in which she highlighted, among other things, the global, economic and financial environment within which Nigeria operates. She charged the envoys to sharpen their diplomatic skills so that they could better negotiate the best advantage for Nigeria in the international multilateral negotiations on economic issues.

The two day seminar, which started with consideration of consular matters, will continue tomorrow, 30th April, 2013 with deliberation on strategies for attraction foreign direct investment. It is the third in the series, following the successful conclusion of earlier ones held in Accra, Ghana for the West African region and Nigeria's neighbours and the second for the Asia and Pacific Region held in early April 2013, in Beijing, China.

Office of Honourable Minister
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
29th April, 2013