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About The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foeign Affairs started as a small unit in the Office of the Prime Minister in September,1957 responsible for the conduct of Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations. With initial personnel strength of twelve(12) officers, becoming the first generation of Foreign Service Officers in the country, the Ministry has undergone varying phases of structural changes.
At independence in 1960, the Division within the Office of the Prime Minister was renamed the Ministry of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. On attainment of a Republican Status in 1963, it was re-designated Ministry of External Affairs and in 1989, it became the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
While Nigerian’s foreign policy objectives as enunciated at independence have remained fairly, consistent, successive administrations whether military and civilian, have shifted its emphasis and focus, to suit preveailing circumstances.This had ranged from Africa beign the centre-piece of Nigeria’s foreign policy, to economic diplomacy, citizen diplomacy and now back to economic diplomacy with emphasis on the promotion of trade and foreign investments
as potent instruments for job and wealth creation within the context of the Transformation Agenda.
Today, the MInistry has undergone dramatic growth and expansion in terms’ of the number of Missions and personnel from its rather humble beginnings in the 1960s. At the moment, the Ministry has a staff strength of 2,523 personnel comprising both senior and junior cadre officers, serving both at Headquarters and Missionsabroad, excluding the staff of the NIIA, and the DTCA.
Mandate and Functions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Ministry of Foreign of Affairs is the statutory organ of Government charged with the primary responsibility for the formulation, articulation, conduct and execution of Nigeria’s foreign policy. The mandate as approved in the2007 Reforms is:
Dedicated to the vigorous pursuit of the vital national interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and thepromotion of African Integration and Unity, international cooperation for the consolidation of global peace, security, a just world economic order and democratic values, through the formulation, articulation and implementation of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy objectives for the benefit of Nigeria and its citizens by building thecapacity to be a major role player in World Affairs and earning the respect of the people of Africa and the larger international community.