11 January 2013

Nigeria: FG Committed to Citizen Diplomacy - Ashiru

Foreign Affairs Minister Olubenga Ashiru, on Friday in Lisbon urged Nigerians to obey the laws of their host nation.

Ashiru who is on a two- day visit to Portugal spoke against the backdrop of government's commitment to citizen diplomacy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that citizen diplomacy is a key feature of the nation's foreign policy.

The minister also urged them to be good ambassadors of the nation by striving at times to project a positive image for the country.

"As good ambaasdors you must shun all form crime, and activities that will put the nation in bad light."

"The task of defending Nigeria lies with all of us as a collective responsibility as the government alone cannot carry out this enormous responsibilities.

"I urge you to be good citizens of Nigeria, and be law abiding residents in your host countries.

"President Goodluck Jonathan is doing everything possible to reshape the economy by ensuring stable power just as all hands are on deck to improve education and guarantee national security of Nigerians," he said.

Ashiru who also met with members of staff of the Nigerian embassy, said the ministry was making serious effort to get more funds to strengthen and improve their operations.

Responding, Mr Fredlyn Evbuowan, Chairman of the Nigerian community, commended government's transformation agenda, saying that it's impact was already visible in various areas of the economy.

Evbuowan said plans were on to establish the Portugal chapter of Nigerians in Diaspora (NIDO), adding that the community presently had only ethnic associations.

NAN reports that statistics from the embassy indicated that more than 1500 Nigerians were registered as residents in Portugal.

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