The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s foreign trips were to re-launch Nigeria in the mind of countries that hitherto distrusted it.
He disclosed this while speaking to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday in Abuja, adding that the trips have started yielding positive results.
The results were in the areas of the economy and national security as well as enhancing Foreign Direct Investment.
Looking at Nigeria from when Buhari took over, he said:
“We had existential security challenges with Boko Haram occupying some territories.
“We had rampant corruption and the oil price crashing, so his outreach to the rest of the world was to get the international community to buy into the priorities of the government.
“He identified security as one of it, and on the security you will recall that a number of our traditional allies in the western world stopped cooperating with Nigeria militarily.”
Onyeama said some countries had stopped providing weaponry and pulled out advisers from Nigeria, while troops engaged in mutiny before the Buhari administration.
The president sought to allay the fears of other countries and get them back on board to support government’s security initiatives against Boko Haram.
The minister noted that Nigerian faced real economic challenges with the dramatic crash in oil prices, which needed urgent attention.
He said that the president’s drive in that context was the diversification of the economy and the promotion of foreign direct investment.
He said the president was able to put the issue of anti-corruption at the top of the international agenda.
Also, Onyeama says Nigeria and South Africa have set up a 24-hour call centre to serve as an early warning system to protect Nigerians from xenophobia.
Onyeama said at the NAN forum in Abuja that Federal Government was ready to intervene wherever any Nigerian is threatened or in difficulty.