Foreign Affairs Committee to hear from Nigerian Ambassador on Boko Haram insurgency

February 3rd, 2015 - Pat Breen

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade will tomorrow meet with Ambassador of Nigeria to Ireland Dr Bolere Elizabeth Ketebu for an update on the activities of Boko Haram and to consider bilateral relations between the two countries.

Chairman of the Committee Pat Breen TD says: “We look forward to meeting with Ambassador Dr Ketebu at tomorrow’s meeting, which will focus on the reprehensible activities of Boko Haram, whose insurgency is said to have cost 13,000 to 15,000 lives to date in the North Eastern Nigeria. The update is timely, as the Committee has been following with grave concern a series of particularly brutal attacks occurred throughout last month. The strategically important city of Maiduguri has been under assault by the militants in recent weeks, though yesterday’s news reports indicated that the Nigerian army had repelled the latest attack.

“With Nigerian elections looming, the Committee will also be keen to explore the preparations being put in place to ensure free and fair elections. In response to an invitation by the Nigerian authorities, the EU has deployed an Election Observation Mission, which includes one Irish monitor. Committee Members look forward to engaging with Ambassador Ketebu on the Presidential and National Assembly elections (to be held on 14 February) and the State Governorships and State Assemblies elections (to take place on 28 of this month).

“We will also focus on the opportunities for increasing trade between Ireland and Nigeria. We intend to discuss Nigeria’s emergence as a major regional economic player, with 2013 GDP data indicating that the country is now Africa’s largest economy. The discussion with Ambassador Ketebu is expected to consider the opportunities for Irish business to tap into the opportunities presented in this fast-growing market of 180 million people.”

The meeting commences tomorrow Wednesday 4 February at 2:30 pm in Committee Room 1, LH 2000.

Committee proceedings can be followed live here: http://www.oireachtas.ie/parliament/watchlisten/live-flashplayer/committeeroom1/