Encomiums have continued to pour on Prof. Monique Ekpong, as she marks her first year in office as the Nigerian Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Angola.
The former university don officially presented her Letter of Credence to the president of Angola, His Excellency, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço at the Presidential Villa in Luanda on August 12, 2021.
The occasion formalised Ambassador Ekpong’s mandate as head of the Nigerian mission in Angola, as the reception and subsequent grant of requests by the Angolan President, heralded a new era of mutually benefiting relations for both countries.
A statement issued by the Media Assistant to the Ambassador, Nelson Nse Abasi, highlighted some of Ambassador Ukpong’s achievements to include ‘return of direct flights to and from Luanda’, as Nigerians living in Angola have commended President Muhammadu Buhari, his Angolan counterpart, President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço and Ambassador Ekpong for the initiative. The Angolan official carrier, TAAG, now flies Lagos-Luanda twice weekly.
Mrs Ekpong, who doubles as Chairman of Ambassadors of Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC), considers the restoration of direct flights from Angola to Nigeria as a positive development especially as regards millions of Nigerians/Angolans who ply the route weekly for business and tourism. The feat alone has brought about increased Bilateral Trade and Business Relations. Aside this, the ease of travel documentation and the return of direct flights have given a boost to bilateral relationship and cordiality between Nigeria and Angola.
In addition to that, issues arising from regularization of documents for Nigerians in Angola and those with intentions of traveling to Luanda have been put to rest. The embassy has in the last months facilitated regularization of papers, visa documentation for more than 1,000 Nigerian residents in Angola.
Also notable is the fact that members of the Nigerian Community in Angola (NICA) have resolved the leadership tussle, which stagnated the apex body of Nigerians residing in the country.
In October 2021, Prof. Ekpong appointed an Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) saddled with the responsibility of conducting a free and fair election, where Mr Ogbuka Obinna Anthony emerged as the president.
For her numerous strides,
Ambassador Monique Ekpong was honoured in November 2021 by My Media Africa, organisers of Africa Illustrious Awards. She was decorated with the distinguished African Diplomat of the Year Award.
Meanwhile, goodwill messages have been pouring in for Ambassador Ekpong following her commendable first year in office.