The immediate past Nigerian ambassador to Germany, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, has been sworn in as the country’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Alhaji Tuggar was one of the 45 ministers sworn into their various offices on Monday in Abuja, marking an end to the long wait of Nigerians for a new federal cabinet to be constituted since President Bola Ahmed Tinubu assumed office on 29 May.
The appointment of Tuggar as foreign minister has been widely praised as akin to putting a round peg in a round hole. “Given his sterling performance in Berlin as ambassador from 2017 until his appointment, one can confidently say that he’s a wonderful fit for the office of foreign minister,” said Femi Awoniyi, the immediate past president of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) Germany.
“The diplomat would be remembered for significantly raising the profile of Nigeria during his tenure as ambassador in Germany,” Awoniyi, who interacted with the new minister during his time in Berlin in his capacity as a leader of the Nigerian community in Germany, added.
Tuggar is credited with leading the long struggle for the return of the Benin Bronzes to Nigeria to a successful conclusion. “No doubt about his pivotal role in the successful conclusion of negotiations that led to the restitution agreement signed on 1 July 2023, paving way for the repossession of the cultural goods,” Awoniyi, who is also the publisher of The African Courier, said.
Tuggar was also instrumental to major economic diplomacy accomplishments such as securing the financing for the Kano-Maradi rail project as well as facilitating the Nigeria-Siemens agreement on improving power supply in Nigeria. Signed in August 2018, the German technology company is expected to help Nigeria raise its power generation capacity from 4,500 megawatts to 25,000 in three phases.
Hon. Yusuf Tuggar, who was born on 12 March 1967, hails from Udubo in the Gamawa Local Government Area of Bauchi State. He studied in the UK and the United States, where he obtained a BA in International Relations and MA in International Studies respectively.
From 2007 to 2011, he was a member of the Federal House of Representatives, where he served in various committees. A successful businessman, Tuggar was at the time of his appointment as ambassador to Germany in June 2017 the Chief Executive Officer of Nordic Oil & Gas Services Limited, a company offering consulting services in the hydrocarbon industry.