Djebah hosts virtual training for officers of Nigerian Embassy in Bangkok, receives commendation from experts

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Mr. Oma Djebah, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Thailand
A cross section of participants on Day 1 of the programme

BANGKOK – Nigeria’s new Ambassador to Thailand, Mr. Oma Djebah, on Wednesday hosted a first virtual training and retreat exercise for home-based officers of the embassy.
The training bordered on the conduct of diplomacy in the digital era and how to effectively engage with diverse stakeholders, manage emergencies while at the same time ensuring efficient service delivery in the new normal.
Ambassador Djebah in opening remarks, explained that the virtual training programme was designed as part of strategic measures aimed at helping the embassy in Bangkok to achieve its strategic objectives and mandate as outlined in its Station Charter, by sharpening existing skills of the Mission’s Officers and Staff in line with current global diplomatic practices and dynamics.
The maiden training and retreat programme which is the first of its kind for home-based
officers of the embassy expectedly attracted the of distinguished and renowned diplomats, illustrious and eminent experts in stakeholders engagement and management as well as preeminent project and data management experts as lead speakers. The lead speakers included a former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and one-time Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, Ambassador Bulus Lolo; a retired senior director and acting Assistant Under-Secretary General at the United Nations, Ambassador E.E. Otobo; former Nigerian Ambassador to Jamaica and currently, the Director of Planning, and Statistics, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja, Ambassador (Mrs) Janet Olisa; immediate past Nigerian Ambassador to South Sudan and presently, Director (Minister’s , MFA, Abuja), Ambassador Obinna Agbugba; Chief of Staff to the Deputy President of the Senate and founding Executive Director of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, Dr. Otive Igbuzor and Mr Gideon Olaleye, a project management expert and GIS Solutions specialist based in North America.
The first lecture, titled: ‘Diplomacy in the Age of Digital Media and the Pandemic’, which was delivered by Ambassador Bulus Lolo, drew applause from participants. Ambassador Lolo, also a former Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia, the AU with concurrent accreditation to Djibouti appreciated the ingenuity and logic behind the maiden training programme, which he described as very brilliant move. He stressed that the Embassy has made history as the first Nigerian Mission to organise such an event, especially in the COVID-19 pandemic era when digital application has increasingly became very relevant to diplomacy.
The second lecture was christened: ‘Service Delivery: Rendering Services to Nigerians’ and was delivered by Ambassador (Mrs) Janet O. Olisa. Ambassador Olisa, who is the immediate past Nigerian Ambassador to Jamaics. Her presentation focused on the protocols, stratagem and procedural courtesies that are needed to help address the needs of Nigerians in various host countries. According to her, through effective , civility and cordial relationships, one could work out a flexible internal mechanism for dealing with emerging issues at the very beginning rather than leaving them to balloon out of control.
The third lecture termed: ‘Managing Diplomatic Communications in the Digital Era,’ was delivered by Ambassador E. E. Otobo, a retired Senior Director and Acting Assistant Under Secretary – General, at the United Nations, New York attracted accolades and comments from participants. Ambassador Otobo identified significant changes in diplomatic communication with advancement in information and communication technology (ICT) whereby major government policy statements could be communicated via various safe and secured digital media platforms. He said this has correspondingly brought significant changes to the practice of traditional diplomatic correspondence and messaging in the digital era.
The retired UN diplomat, however, warned participants to be mindful of the type of information to share online because it is not in the national interest of any Mission or nation to share information without thoroughly evaluating its implications and content. He cautioned participants about the activities of hackers in relation to the type of information to be shared in order to avoid compromising sensitive information.
The fourth lecture which focused on ‘Dealing with Current and Evolving Emergencies Especially During the Global Pandemic’ was delivered by Ambassador Obinna Agbugba, Director, Office of the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Obinna proffered that the global pandemic has brought many concerns and protocols in the conduct of normal diplomacy and advised participants on the need to keep pace with evolving global trends while constantly taking cognisance of the need to remain safe and avoid health complications and emergencies. He commended the Embassy of Nigeria, Bangkok for the training initiative noting that it is a novel programme which should serve as a template for others.
The fifth lecture which was delivered by Dr. Otive Igbuzor, Chief of Staff to the Deputy President of the Senate and founding Executive Director of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, entitled: Stakeholders Management/Engagement and Service Delivery focused on the imperatives of stakeholders management in the operations of every Embassy or Mission. According to Dr Igbuzor, who identified about 10 principles maintained that “ stakeholders management is the process for maintaining relationships with people who have the most impact on your work.” Dr Igbuzor postulated that because of the cruciality of Stakeholders management in the life of an Embassy or Mission, it is important to always identify, segregate and document various stakeholders with a view to analyzing their influence, manage their expectations, take appropriate action to address their concerns as well as periodically review their needs.
The last lecture which was delivered by Mr. Gideon Olaleye, a project management consultant and GIS Solutions specialist at Geocrest International Inc as the Principal focused on the importance of project management and service delivery in a diplomatic setting. According to Mr Olaleye, to achieve the overall aims and goals of an organization, “there be a framework that sets the principles, standards and provide the methodologies that will govern the design, development, deployment and operations of such service delivery.” All Home Based Officers who described the training exercise as the very first of its kind in the life of the Mission said the five day-event was educative, engaging and very fruitful. They prayed that it would develop into a bigger and sustainable exercise.