Reps’ move to reposition NIIA excites stakeholders

Stakeholders have commended the House of Representatives on its efforts seeking to reposition the Nigeria Institute for International Affairs, which many said had become a shadow of itself.

The commendations were at a public hearing in Abuja on a bill for an Act to repeal and re-enact the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), and for related matters, organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, under the Chairmanship of Hn. Yakub Buba.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, in his remarks, commended the House for initiating the legislative intervention to reposition the institute, adding that the agency offered great opportunities that Nigeria stands to benefit from. He was represented by Ambassador Mobolaji Ogundero.

Also speaking, NIIA’s DG, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, said the world had moved from where it used to be in the 1960s and it is now being ruled by ICT, leaving the institute behind, adding that the 2021 capital budgetary allocation to the institute was only N46 million, a sum barely enough to start anything in terms of rehabilitation.

“We see that this bill will take the NIIA to the level where the world has not seen, to a level where our founding fathers will rejoice in heaven. This committee said it is time for dry bones to rise again, not only rise again but surpass the bones it used to be,’’ he said.

In his address earlier, Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, sought support for the National Assembly in its bid to reposition the NIIA, urging stakeholders to come up with ideas that would help the parliament achieve its goal.