From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

The Federal Government, has expressed delight over the inauguration of the Academy of International Affairs, Nigeria.

This was even as a former Supervisory Minister of Foreign Affairs and one of the newly inaugurated Fellows of the Academy, Professor Viola Onwuliri, expressed the hope that the academy will help the foreign policy of Nigeria to diversify and grow.

Speaking with Daily Sun, Onwuliri said with the crisis-ridden world, there was  a lot of work before the Academy.

Onwuliri,  former Minister of State (1), Foreign Affairs and a former Minister of State, Education, however said the fellows, like a think-tank, will rise up to the challenge. Onwuliri expressed gratitude to the founder, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, for putting the Academy together.

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“I thank God for this. It is something that the organisers and the founder thought necessary that someone like me should be part of this inaugural group of fellows of the new academy.

“So, I am grateful to God, I feel appreciated and I thank God. We believe that this will help the foreign policy of Nigeria to diversify and grow,” Onwuliri said.

Speaking during the inauguration and investiture of fellows of the Academy in Abuja, the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, said the academy has great potential to make great improvements in the management of the nation’s foreign policy.

Shettima who was represented by the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Office of the Vice President, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, also said it was even more remarkable that the inspiration and impetus behind the formation of the Academy was entirely the initiative of distinguished foreign service officers who have paid their dues to our country many times over.

“History will record this day as a key bookmark in the place of our elite in keeping the faith that our country can continue to rely on them to place before it their entire assets in patriotism, skills and competences. You have vindicated a widely-acknowledged truism that nations which know what was best for them trusted the conduct of their foreign policy only to its best and the brightest. Allow me therefore to place on record today, the nation’s inestimable gratitude to all our foreign service officers who saw our nation through its best and most challenging moments. I hope there are enough serving foreign service officers in this building today who should draw inspiration from the undying passion of service to the fatherland from all the Fellows and other members of the foreign service officers,” Shettima said.