Updated: February 26, 2021
The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, on Friday, previewed Nigeria priorities for the 73rd UN General Assembly high-level week, saying that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s top focus would be “to communicate to the global community what we have been doing in Nigeria, challenges we face, achievements that we’ve made and our road map for the future”.
Mr Onyeama, who noted that Nigeria was on full election mood, listed President Buhari’s achievements in the areas of security, the fight against corruption and the economy.
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He said Boko Haram, the deadly Islamist group that has been wreaking havoc in Nigeria’s northeast region, as well as Cameroon, Niger and Chad since 2009, had been significantly degraded, although not completely crushed.
“It’s still not completely over, but the group has been very significantly degraded,” he said during a press briefing at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
He listed other security challenges, including clashes between herders and farmers in the middle belt and militant agitations in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, but said the government had successfully dealt with them.
Mr Onyeama praised President Buhari’s fight against corruption, funds recovered, the whistle-blower policy, but acknowledged that funds stolen and stashed abroad were hard to repatriate even after court orders due to complications from foreign governments.
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He also praised the administration for its economic successes, including in agriculture. He said the government has also been paying close attention to education with social investment programs.
Onyeama said President Buhari who would be in New York for the UN General Assembly would hold high level interactions, including bilateral meetings with several heads of state and government, but did not mention them. He did also disclose specific events the Nigerian leaders would be attending.
On the arms deal with the United States, he said Nigeria paid upfront and the combat jets would be delivered in 2020. He was not sure of how much was paid, only recollecting that it could have been between $100 million and $200 million.