Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, yesterday, said Nigeria would not raise the issue of the judgment debt concerning Process and Industrial Development Limited (P&ID) during the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, United States of America, this month.
Onyeama noted that the case was a contractual matter between two parties and not a global issue that government would ordinarily bring up, even as he said the issue of corruption would be discussed broadly.
Briefing journalists ahead of the 74th UNGA, in Abuja, Onyeama said Nigeria would use the opportunity to canvass support for Nigerians vying for certain international positions.
He added that the meeting offered an opportunity to engage with countries to try to get their support so that Nigeria could attain the positions.
“For instance, Nigeria is keen to be elected into a category of the International Maritime Organisation. We didn’t make it the last time round; so we are persisting this time and, with the challenges that we have, maritime challenges, we feel that it is important that we be on the governing bodies for regulating maritime issues.
“We are also vying for a position on the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); we are vying for a seat under Part 2 on the International Civil Aviation Organisation Council. We have a candidate that we are pushing to be on the Committee Against Torture, we also have a candidate that we are pushing for election to the United Nations Committee on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
“So, we will be taking advantage of our presence there during the General Assembly to also lobby for these positions,” Onyeama said.
The minister added that more broadly and more strategically as a country, the 74th UNGA was an opportunity to project Nigeria as an important member of the international community and having the president of the General Assembly was something that would give the country better visibility and greater influence.
“And we obviously want to use that to push agendas of importance to us as a country – our fight against corruption and repatriation of stolen loot, engaging with other countries to help us in our quest to successfully deliver on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) objectives that cover all our social, economic challenges. Terrorism and countering violent extremism is obviously something that we would want to maintain at the highest level of global priorities,” he said.
Onyeama further stated the 74th UNGA would afford the nation the opportunity to get greater United Nations buy-in and support in the fight against terrorism, and in the global conflicts taking place in Africa.
He listed irregular migration as one of the issues to top the nation’s agenda during the 74th UNGA, the recharging of the Lake Chad, an existential issue, as well as clean water challenges, environmental challenges, climate issues, agriculture, oil and gas, and the clean-up of the Niger Delta.
Further speaking on the P&ID judgement debt, Onyeama said the case had to do more with the United Kingdom, where the judgement took place, and it was a UK company in the dispute.