Nigeria scales up assistance to ACP countries
IN a bid to sustain SouthSouth cooperation as an important pillar of Nigeria’s foreign policy, the Directorate of Technical Aid Corps (DTAC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expanded its operations to include partnering other developing countries to tackle their specific challenges.
The new initiative which is an addition to the Directorate’s core objective of providing upper and middle level manpower needs for African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries through deployment of
Nigerian professional volunteers to these nations, includes partnering Development Agencies to provide succour to some of the developmental burdens of the benefiting countries.
Already, the Directorate is at the verge of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Islamic Development Bank on the treatment of Obstetrics Fistula in two West African countries of Gambia and Sierra Leone in partnership with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health.
The Chief Executive of DTAC, Dr. Pius Olakunle Osunyikanmi, who disclosed this at the weekend during a brief ceremony to mark the beginning of his five-year second tenure as the head of the Directorate, said the new initiative would invariably serve as a protective shield for Nigerians at the long run. He cited the outbreak of Ebola epidemic in other African countries and how Nigerians were exposed to the scourge.
Osunyikanmi disclosed that the new initiative, which he said, was taking the country’s foreign policy to the next level, also include assisting needy countries to acquire expertise in the areas where Nigeria has excelled, including artistic designs and film production.
While remarking that Nigeria’s presence is being felt in over ten countries with many others signifying interests, the DTAC chief executive said: “In the Caribbean our part- nership with Jamaica is working particularly in the area of skill transfer in Batik making and wood carving.
“We are in the process of collaborating with the National Film and Video Censor Board to Sign an MOU where we would be sending upon the request of Jamaica for the best amongst over Nollywood Actors and Actresses to go and train Jamaican Actors and actresses in their quest to create their own version of HollywoodJamwood as you might want to call it. Our engagement with Belize is as strong as ever.”
Osunyikanmi lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for providing support for the Directorate to excel despite the economic downturn Nigeria is facing, stressing: “This administration, more than the ones before it has been truly committed to deepening the goals of the Directorate through improved funding, and expanding Nigeria’s sphere of influence in the ACP countries. See the remaining part of this article on wwwguardian.ng for further reading