By Stephen Angbulu
Six state governors and seven ministers will be part of President Bola Tinubu’s 17-man delegation to this year’s United Nations General Assembly in New York from September 18 to 26.
For his first appearance at the annual gathering as Nigeria’s President, Tinubu will be accompanied by Governors Hope Uzodinma of Imo, Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom, Mohammed Yahaya of Gombe State, Uba Sani of Kaduna State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazak of Kwara State and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, confirmed this in a statement he signed on Saturday titled, ‘President Tinubu set to attend 78th UN General Assembly in New York.’
Ngelale revealed that at least seven ministers would accompany the Nigerian leader as he seeks to pursue new investment deals at roundtable meetings with chief executives of four multinational companies and bilateral engagement with presidents and prime ministers.
The ministers include the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar; Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Finance, Wale Edun; Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Dr Mohammed Pate; Minister of Defence, Abubakar Badaru; Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake; Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu; and Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anite.
Also on the trip would be the President’s Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila; National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu; Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, and other senior government officials.
This came barely three weeks after Tinubu directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to freeze the processing of visas for all government officials seeking to travel to New York for the United Nations General Assembly without proof of direct participation in UNGA’s official schedule of activities.
He insisted that all ministries, departments, and agencies ensure that all officials approved for inclusion in the UNGA delegation strictly limit the number of aides and associated staff participating in the event.
The theme of the 78th UNGA is “Rebuilding Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity: Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards Peace, Prosperity, Progress and Sustainability for All”.
President Tinubu will deliver his inaugural national statement on September 19, the first day of the high-level general debate of the session.
Before that, he will join other world leaders to participate in the high-level political forum on sustainable development (UN 2023 Summit on SDGs).
“His address will encompass several issues such as sustainable development, climate change, global cooperation, and the imperative to address inequalities and global humanitarian crises,” Ngelale explained.
While engaging with officials at the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations Headquarters in New York City, the Nigerian leader will have the honour of conducting the NASDAQ closing ceremony during its trading session, making President Tinubu the first African president to do this.