Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria from 1961 to Date

Last updated on August 17th, 2023 at 08:35 pm


Jaja Wachuku is Nigeria’s first Minister of Foreign Affairs. The present one is Ambassador Yusuf M. Tuggar (August 16, 2023 till date).

Since the establishment of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1961, the ministry which maintains, supervises, and coordinates Nigeria’s relations with other countries has produced 29 ministers.

On the assumption, the ministry is named Foreign Affairs and Commonwealth Relations. By the government of Tafawa Balewa, the Prime Minister at the time. And Jaja Wachuku became head of the first foreign affairs ministry


Roles of the Foreign Affairs Minister

1) To oversee the management of Nigeria’s diplomatic missions and consulates.

2) To implement foreign policies

3) To maintain relations with other countries

4) To protect the interest of Nigeria and its people in foreign countries

5) To coordinate the foreign policy of Nigeria.

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6) To maintain Nigeria’s relations with international organisations

Past and Present Minister of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria

Jaja Wachuku

1961 to 1965

Nuhu Bamalli

1965 to 1966

Yakubu Gowon

1966 to 1967

Arikpo Okoi

1967 to 1975

Joseph Nanven Garba

1975 to 1978

Henry Adefope

1978 to 1979

Ishaya Audu

1979 to 1983

Emeka Anyaoku

1983 to 1984

Ibrahim Gambari

1984 to 1985

Bolaji Akinyemi

1985 to 1987

Ike Nwachukwu

1987 to 1989

Rilwan Lukman

1989 to 1990

Ike Nwachukwu

1990 to 1993

Matthew Mbu

January to November 1993

Babagana Kingibe

1993 to 1995

Tom Ikimi

1995 to 1998

Ignatius Olisemeka

1998 to 1999

Sule Lamido

1999 to 2003

Oluyemi Adeniji


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

June 21, 2006 to August 30, 2006

Joy Ogwu


Ojo Maduekwe


Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi


Henry Odein Ajumogobia


Olugbenga Ashiru


Viola Onwuliri


Aminu Bashir Wali


Geoffrey Onyeama

2015 – May 29, 2023

Yusuf M. Tuggar

August 16, 2023 till date

Of all the former ministers, Prof Bolaji Akinyemi, Anyaoku, and Sule Lamido were exceptional as Nigeria’s foreign policies were clearly spelt out.

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