The Federal Government has assured the Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) of its support toward the successful hosting of the maiden Commonwealth High Commissioners’ Banquet in Nigeria.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Yusuf Tuggar said this in Abuja at a news conference held in Abuja on Wednesday by the society.
The news conference was organised by the society to announce the plan to host the banquet on Dec. 12 in Abuja.
The minister, who was represented by Amb. Bolaji Akinremi, the Director of the Economy, Trade, and Investment Department in the ministry, underscored the importance of the meeting, saying it would engender economic diplomacy and trade facilitation among members of the Commonwealth.
He added that the banquet will be based on the theme of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Kigali in 2022 under the theme: ‘Delivering a Common Future: Connecting, Innovating, Transforming’.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that delegates at the heads of government meeting in Kigali held from June 20 to June 25, 2022, embraced unity and collaboration to tackle issues that are at the heart of the Commonwealth’s values.
The issues ranged from gender equality, youth empowerment, sustainable economic development, and climate action.
The minister said that the time to render support to the society was now, especially in view and furtherance of the President Bola Tinubu-led administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.
Addressing journalists earlier, the Country Director of RCS, Mr Blackson Bayewumi, said that the banquet which “will be the first of its kind to be hosted in Africa, is designed to enhance trade facilitation and investment promotion between Nigeria and the major Commonwealth countries.
According to him, the objective is to ensure economic development in line with the Nigeria Economic Diplomacy Initiative of the Federal Government, job creation, investment promotion, and economic development.
“Royal Commonwealth Society is a network of individuals and organisations committed to improving the lives and prospects of Commonwealth citizens across the world.
“Through youth empowerment, education, and high-level advocacy, the society champions the importance of literacy equality, inclusion, the environment, and connected communities across the 56-member Commonwealth.
“RCS’ unique position within the Commonwealth family allows it to play a pivotal role in convening and connecting the Commonwealth’s political and diplomatic representatives, civil society, business, and youth leaders on a wide range of issues as well as to deliver highlights of the Commonwealth calendar,’’ he said
The country director said that it was no longer news that problems existed everywhere in the world.
He said in view of that, Nigeria is not an exception.
“We should not think that Nigeria is the only country in the world that has problems. We know that there are security issues, for instance. But it is not by shouting and fighting ourselves that solutions will come.
“It is by positive engagements and we can come up with initiatives and ideas like what we are doing.
“We are going to use our platforms to look for solutions to our problems.
“For instance, if through this banquet we are going to host we are able to raise 2 billion dollars’ worth of investment in Nigeria, many people will get employed and Nigerians will benefit from it,’’ he added.
Bayewumi said the banquet will showcase opportunities for trade and investment in Nigeria with the High Commissioners of the Commonwealth member states and other foreign guests.
He added that among other things, the meeting will discuss potential support for the new administration and government in Nigeria, strengthen cordial relationships and friendship among Commonwealth members, and promote peace and interaction within the bloc.
Also speaking during the news conference, Alhaji Babangida Nguroje, a former Chairman of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), said the banquet to be hosted in December “is timely in view of the challenges facing the economy’’.
According to him, Nigeria is desirous of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to buoy the economy.
He expressed the belief that the event will mobilise Commonwealth member states for sustained, balanced investment.
NAN further reports that high-powered interaction among Commonwealth High Commissioners, the Presidency, senior government officials, state government officials, business leaders, and the organised private sector will feature during the banquet.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria