KINGSTON — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade (MFAFT), the Hon. Dr. Kenneth Baugh, had discussions Monday (November 28) with Nigeria's Foreign Minister, His Excellency Olugbenga Adeyemi Ashiru, at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston.
According to a release from the Ministry, they discussed the third Jamaica/Nigeria Joint Commission Meeting, as well as energy security, air services, the African Union Diaspora Conference in May 2012 and cultural cooperation and increased tourism activity between both countries.
Minister of Mining and Energy, the Hon. Clive Mullings, who also attended the meeting, advised the Nigerian team that Jamaica had requested bids for the supply of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and that there were opportunities for Nigerian involvement.
The Nigerian Foreign Minister, who arrived on Saturday, also called on the Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon Sir Patrick Allen, on Monday morning, and later in the day met with officers of the Nigerian High Commission and members of the Association of Nigerians in Jamaica at the High Commission in Kingston. He will depart on Tuesday (November 29) after meeting with the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Hon Robert Montague.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan named Mr. Ashiru, a career diplomat, as foreign minister in July. He had served as a diplomat for almost three decades, and was recently Nigeria's high commissioner in South Africa.
The Nigerian delegation also included: High Commissioner to Jamaica, H.E. Peter Oyedele; Special Advisor to the Foreign Minister, Olulemi George ; Director Regions, Afolabi Adefigipe; Acting Director Bilateral and Economic Cooperation Division, F.O. Momoh; Acting Head, South America and Caribbean Division, Esther Arewa; and other Nigerian Foreign Ministry officials.
Other members of the Jamaican delegation included: the Foreign Ministry’s State Minister, Senator the Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ambassador Evadne Coye; Director Bilateral Relations, Ambassador Paul Harker; Marketing and Logistics Manager, Petrojam, Mike Hewitt, and Yanique Bent and Kurt Davis, desk officers in the Bilateral Relations Department of the Ministry.
By Balford Henry, JIS Reporter & Editor