Vice President Kashim Shettima yesterday sought the support of all Nigerians to enable the Bola Tinubu administration effectively address the challenges confronting the country.

Shettima spoke in Abuja at the official inauguration and investiture of the Academy of International Affairs Nigeria, a private sector-led think thank that contributes to the nation’s foreign policy formulation and implementation, founded by erstwhile Foreign Affairs Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi.

Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, was the chairman at the event.

The Vice President said the current administration acknowledged the various challenges facing the country, stressing that it needed the citizens to have faith and support its programmes to rescue Nigeria from the woods.

Shettima, who was represented by the Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Hakkim Baba Ahmed, said: “Nigeria lives with historic limitations and multiple contemporary challenges. We will not claim that we are self-sufficient in answers to dealing with poverty levels, limited resources for critical infrastructure and raising skilled and educated younger Nigerians. 

“We need to begin to think of a future full of opportunities as well. In the next two decades, Nigeria will have one of the largest, youngest, and most enterprising population in a world that will be aging and changing.

“We need to survive our current challenges with courage, wisdom, patriotism, and vision of a great future full of our opportunities for the next generation of Nigerians.”

Commenting on the essence of the academy, Shettima said: “We will leave our doors open to this academy for ideas and recommendations. This academy will be a think tank we cannot afford to ignore. We need your inputs on achieving our priorities in the contexts of often harsh and unforgiving circumstances.

“It is a great to honour to witness the birth of an academy which has a great potential to make great improvements in the management of our foreign policy as we speak and in future.

“It is even more remarkable that the inspiration and impetus behind the formation of this 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.”

Those inducted as fellows of the academy are: Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi; a former Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA); Prof. Bola Akinterinwa; as well as Ambassador Godknows Igali, Prof. Joy Ogwu, Henry Odien Ajumogibia, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, Ambassador Joe Keshi, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, Prof. Tijjani Mohammed Bande, General Martins Agwai (retd.), Ambassador John Shinkaiye, Ambassador Segun Apata, Ambassador Jaiyeola Lewu, Prof. Akinjide Osuntokun, Ambassador Hadiza Mustpha, Prof. Akin Oyebode, Prof. Nuhu Yaqub, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, Prof. Hassan Saliu, Prof. Eghosa Osagie, Ambassador Brownson Dede, Prof. Jide Owoeye, General Obidan Ethan (retd.), and Ambassador Jibrin Chinade.

Two other persons – Dr. Akin Akinyemi and Prof. Adewumi Falode – got Ordinary Fellow of the academy.

Four honourary fellows of the academy are: Philip Asiodu, Ambassador Abdullah Attah, Ambassador Sefiya Judith Attah, and Prof. Benedict Okey Oramah.

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