By Lizzy Okoji
A review of Nigeria’s foreign affairs by the National Assembly will ensure all international engagements benefit the interest of the country and its citizens first.
Mr Yusuf Buba, Chairman of House Committee on Foreign Affairs disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
Buba said that Nigeria would no longer develop policies that would not be beneficial to its national interest.
According to him, Nigeria has played the big brotherly roles, especially in Africa, without reciprocity and almost to self-disadvantage.
Henceforth, he said, there must be gains from whatever international engagements Nigeria would have with other countries.
The chairman cited the United States as a country that considers national interest first in all its engagements and interventions.
Presently, Buba said, the motion for the review of Nigeria’s foreign policy is on the floor of the House of Representatives and a stakeholders’ conference will be convened in March.
“At the conference, everybody will bring their expertise to the table to see that we review our foreign policy to be of more benefit to us.
“In the past, you will find out that we have centred our foreign policy on others mostly like a big brother.
“We want to take care of the interest of all Africans without really caring about what comes in on it and that is why you see us sending our troops to Liberia, to Sierra-Leone and other countries on peacekeeping where we lost a lot of lives.
“If you look at developing countries like the Americans, whenever they send out troops to a country, there must be some economic benefits that will come with it.
“They do not just put in their money without any economic benefit,’’ the lawmaker told NAN.
He said that this would no longer be like before where, after Nigeria had given its support, those countries would come back to treat Nigeria unfairly.
“So, we will not accept that type of foreign policy where you do well to a neighbour and he pays you back in a negative way.
“Therefore, we will look at it and make sure generally, the foreign policy will be to the good of Nigeria first before another.’’
Going forward, Buba said that there would be a frequent review of the nation’s foreign policy in line with changing circumstance.
He also called for the training of diplomats and more funding for the National Institute of International Affairs as well as the Foreign Academy, which comprises a lot of experts in international relations.
Buba said that would enable them to effectively review the nation’s foreign policy.