The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila on Monday called for the review of Nigeria’s foreign policy to align with a changing global community and consequently address challenges.
Gbajabiamila, who was speaking in Abuja at the opening of a three-day Conference on the Review of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy, noted that the country must engage the rest of the world in finding solutions to new challenges and threats so that collectively, they can address them.
He said that the review was long overdue adding that some many things have changed since 1960s when Nigeria’s foreign policy first came into play.
The Speaker said Nigeria today faced threats of insecurity and huge unemployment, which it must find solutions to internally and tailor its foreign policy to address both.
Mr Gbajabiamila explained that “Today in Nigeria, we face two existential threats of insecurity and unemployment that have caused a deep loss of faith amongst our people.
“All our governing efforts must be geared towards finding solutions to these problems. Whereas the rest of the government looks inwards, it is the mandate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to look outward. It is not an easy task.”
Reiterating the support of the 9th House under his leadership and the entire National Assembly to achieve this, the Speaker recalled how the resort to ‘parliamentary diplomacy’ in recent times by the Legislature helped to douse tensions between Nigeria and some African countries.
“The intervention of the House has helped in checking the xenophobic attacks in South Africa from becoming a full-blown crisis between Nigeria and its Southern African sister.”
The House also intervened in the trade dispute between the authorities in Ghana and Nigerian traders in Accra in 2020, using parliamentary diplomacy to engage the Ghanaian Parliament to address the dispute.
“I assure you that the House of Representatives stands ready to be an effective partner in advancing our nation’s foreign policy objectives.” the Speaker added.