Imo State Ministry Of Foreign and International Affairs under (Dr) Fabian Ihekweme
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is a government ministry charged with the responsibility of overseeing a country’s diplomatic, bilateral and multilateral relations as well as providing support for a country’s citizens abroad.
Owing largely to the strategic roles and huge taxing responsibilities the Foreign Affairs Ministry is saddled with, the Federal Government through the Act of the National Assembly established the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission which is responsible for ensuring the engagement of Nigerians overseas in the policies, projects and as well as foster participation in the development of Nigeria.
The Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, after extensive consultations with constitutional lawyers and Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), and in tandem with the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, citing the second schedule of the Constitution, established the Imo State Ministry of Foreign and International Affairs .
The Governor in his wisdom, after due consultations, appointed Dr Fabian Ihekweme; a boardroom political strategist, foreign affairs analyst and experienced management consultant, to oversee the affairs of the newly created Imo State Ministry of Foreign and International Affairs.
His Excellency, Gov Hope Uzodinma based his decision for the establishment of this new ministry on the provision of section 192 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended which stipulates thus: “That there shall be such offices of Commissioners of the government of a state as may be established by the governor of the state”.
The powers of the state to establish the Ministry of Foreign and International Affairs, which admittedly falls under the ‘Exclusive list’ of the Federal Government, is however within the provisions of the law of a state as far as such state does not extend its powers to establishing diplomatic and consular relations with foreign countries.
In understanding the enormous tasks facing this very strategic Foreign and International Affairs Ministry, the Executive Governor of Imo State, His Excellency, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, in his wisdom also appointed Cllr Celia Hibbert; a London-based Humanitarian and Social Welfare advocate, as his Special Adviser on Diaspora Affairs to complement the efforts of the Honourable Commissioner for Foreign and International Affairs.
According to the Honorable Commissioner for Foreign and International Affairs, Dr Fabian Ihekweme, the ministry was set up to give lmolites in the diaspora a sense of belonging and participation in the governance of their state as well as attracting direct foreign investment, improve massive wealth creation through international participations and relationships as well as fostering and harnessing partnership with International Donor Agencies for the development of lmo State.