On Thursday, April 5th, 2018, I attended the launch of the Nigerian Economic Diplomacy Initiative (NEDI) at the Presidential Villa. The initiative is championed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under the leadership of the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs; Geoffrey Onyeama in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMTI); the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC); and the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC).
The initiative which was launched by the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is designed to further make life easier for Nigerians – home and abroad. NEDI is a very laudable initiative. It will help Nigerian professionals in the diaspora get jobs very easily in Nigeria and also open Nigerian businesses to opportunities in every country where we have a Nigerian embassy or mission.
One thing that struck me during this launch was the accolades that were showered on Seun Omobo, Senior Special Assistant to the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs. She was hailed by the Vice President, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Trade and Investment and other top dignitaries for her role in ensuring that the initiative saw the light of day.
I had a brief conversation with her after the event to discuss the process of conceptualizing and implementing of this idea, and I was very impressed by her grasp of how policies can be used to achieve change in the society. According to her, NEDI will help Nigerian professionals and businesses get access to opportunities that have previously been unavailable to them.
It was inspiring for me to see that we have young individuals like Seun who are championing positive change in the operations of government across all levels. There is a lot of work to be done to get Nigeria to the level that we all will be proud of, however, if we can have more passionate, brilliant and knowledgeable individuals like Ms. Omobo contributing their quota to the nation’s development, then we will be in a better position to tackle the issues we are facing as a nation.
Business owners in Nigeria and professionals in the diaspora can be beneficiaries of this opportunity by visiting www.nedi.gov.ng
Joel Pereyi is a Communication Strategist. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria. See photos from the event: