The Federal Government has said its basic criteria for appointing people as career ambassadors include being considered to be trusted hands with a track record of diligence, experience and professionalism in the Foreign Service.
This was disclosed at the weekend by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, at a send-off dinner organised in honour of Ambassador-designate to the State of Qatar, Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed, who is also the outgoing Director of Protocol (DOP) at the State House.
According to a statement by Deputy-Director of Information in the State House, Mr Abiodun Oladunjoye, Onyema said the appointment of Ahmed and other career ambassadors were predicated on posting dedicated and keen Foreign Service practitioners to serve as image-makers of the country.
The Minister recalled that President Buhari had visited the State of Qatar in 2016 and the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Tamim Bin Hammad Al-Thani reciprocated with a State visit in 2019.
He said there had been discussions with Qatar on partnership with Nigeria’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, for significant investments in the region of 5 billion dollars in the Nigerian economy.
He said: ‘‘It is a weighty and strategic country and very strategic in that part of the world and we are putting our best feet forward to advance the interest of our country economically and in other areas.”
Speaking at the ceremony at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Adeola Ipaye, described the honouree as a ‘‘perfect gentleman, very even-natured and always well turned out.’’
Ipaye said he had no doubt the newly appointed ambassador would serve the country well in Qatar, adding that ‘‘we are further encouraged that when he completes this assignment he would return to serve Nigeria in a higher capacity.’’
The Ambassador-Designate thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the great honour and privilege of making him his principal representative in Doha, Qatar.
He pledged to deplore his energy and skill to the promotion of the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Qatar, particularly in the areas of economic, political, cultural and consular affairs as well as other key areas.
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