…It’s platform to connect businesses –Onyeama
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye; Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, described the Nigerian Economic Diplomacy Initiative (NEDI), as an initiative of monumental importance to the nation’s foreign policy and economy.
The Vice President, who spoke at the launch of NEDI in Abuja, said it is a convergence of Nigeria’s global reach and influence with tremendous opportunities for commerce and industry.
The event, which took place at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, was anchored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
Osinbajo described the initiative as a game-changing synergy that ought to have happened years ago. He further said the initiative was designed to compliment the fundamental economic objective of the Federal Government, which is to improve the well-being of Nigerians as individuals and collectively.
The development, Osinbajo added, was in line with the emphasis of the current administration on the economic development plan, which is to create jobs as well as develop infrastructure.
“Economic diplomacy, as most of us know, is the use of diplomatic methods to address national economic interest and, of course, it has a key role to play in our case in achieving the objectives in our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP),” Osinbajo said.
“So, it is imperative that given the size of the Nigerian economy, we are well positioned to actively participate in international economic affairs in a manner that is collaborative and mutually-beneficial to us and, of course, to our international partners,” the Vice President added.
Earlier, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the initiative was a way of keying into one of the three areas of challenges identified by President Muhammadu Buhari at the inception of his administration.
“Your Excellency, when President Muhammadu Buhari and yourself took over the leadership of this country in 2015, you identified three main challenges to be addressed, namely: security, governance (corruption) and the economy (job creation).