By Lawrence Olaoye
On behalf of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and all Nigerians, President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with the family of Nigeria’s Chief Trade Negotiator and Director General of the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations, Amb. Chiedu Osakwe.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President noted, with deep pain, that the passing of Amb. Osakwe has created a gulf in the Nigerian Office for Trade Negotiations, which he served as pioneer Director General, bringing invaluable experience, knowledge and skill in setting up and motivating the operations of the agency that was established in 2017.
The President commiserated with all friends, relations and professional associates of the deceased, who served the country for many years as Foreign Service Officer, before joining the Word Trade Organisation, and later accepting to return to the country as a Trade Adviser to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, and Director General of NOTN.
The President affirmed that the intellectual depth, fervour and sense of patriotism that Amb. Osakwe handled responsibilities will be sorely missed, especially the frontline and historical role of chairing the Negotiating Forum of the African Union (AU) from June 2017 to March 2018, during which time the negotiations were concluded on the Agreement Establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Buhari prayed that the Almighty God will receive the soul of the cerebral diplomat, scholar and administrator, and comfort his family.