There is a popular adage that goes “no man is an island”, this is also the case with countries. No nation can survive without international relations. From trade deals to international tariffs to import and even migration-related issues, every nation on earth needs to look at others for something. International relations require a lot of diplomacies, and these are the jobs of diplomats. Do you want to become a diplomat? If you do want to represent Nigeria in the foreign scene, then this post will show you steps on how to become a career diplomat in Nigeria.
Do you know how admirable it is to represent Nigeria on the foreign scene? At least I have seen a scenario were a diplomat in a Nigerian airport was allowed through before anyone else. This work requires a lot of dedication to service. It also requires that you are well versed with the knowledge of foreign affairs and other various topics.
Well, asides getting through airport securities faster, what else do diplomats do? Well, a Nigerian diplomat is someone that is stationed abroad to help citizens whilst they are overseas. They are involved in domestic and government based affairs that cannot be tackled from the Nigerian home. Becoming a Nigerian Diplomat can be quite a prestigious job. Getting it though can be quite tedious and complicated.
What Set of People Make Up Diplomats
There is a crop of individuals that undergo special training to become diplomats. These people can be broadly classified into subcategories as Ambassadors, Ministers, charge d’ Affaires, etc. Diplomats are usually posted on countries of assignments before they are redeployed to other countries with vacancies.
Qualities of A Diplomat
A diplomat is a person that forms and maintains international relations with issues relating to war, peace, trade, economics, culture, the environment etc. They possess certain qualities that makes them stand out due to the nature of their job. They are ones responsible for the broad overview of treaties and international agreements before politicians endorse them.
Below are qualities you need to become a Nigerian Diplomat:
Composure: The extraordinary ability to stay, poised, calm and effective in condition, whether favourable or not.
Cultural Adaptability: An extraordinary ability to work and communicate effectively with people from different cultural backgrounds.
Experience & Motivation: The ability to show how knowledgeable you are, and also how experienced you are in relevance to the Foreign Service. We are talking about an articulate motivation for joining the Nigerian Foreign Service.
Information Integration & Analysis: The ability to manage complex information from various sources.
Initiative & Leadership: The capacity to identify and take up responsibility for work that needs to be done; to push through completing a task;
Sound Judgement: The natural ability to discern what is right and practical in a given situation
Objectivity/Integrity: The ability to be fair and honest in judgment; to avoid deceitfulness, bias, and discrimination of any sort; to present cases plainly
Oral Communication: Communication is everything in the white-collar realm. We are also looking at the ability to speak in a fluent way that is concise and grammatically correct.
Planning & Organizing: You must have the ability to prioritize and order tasks effectively. Also, you have to employ an approach that is systematic in achieving objectives and use quite a good number of limited resources.
The resourcefulness you would also need to have the capacity to formulate creative alternatives and solutions to resolve complex problems. You also need to show flexibility in feedback to circumstances that are unanticipated. A good diplomat collects and reports information that could potentially affect the national interest.
It is in the light of this that I would infer that diplomats are a strong integral part of foreign policy formulation. In the past, diplomacy used to be an easy road to ride. Nowadays, it is difficult and ever-evolving.
Courses To study To Become A Diplomat
Certain career paths are required to reach your ambition of becoming a diplomat. A first degree in political science or history and international relations would be a good start. Other courses to study that are outside these pre-requisites can also be accepted. Diplomats have a lot of responsibilities outside their offices. As a diplomat, your job would be to seek cultural and economic collaboration with Nigeria and its host country.
Steps To Becoming A Career Diplomat In Nigeria
To become a diplomat in Nigeria isn’t an easy process, but its not impossible. You only have to know the right information and steps to undergo to begin your career as a diplomat.
Step 1: Get A Degree in History or International Relations
Firstly, to start a career as a diplomat in Nigeria, you have to attend University and earn a degree in international relations or history or any other course that would enable you become an ambassador. Most at times, you can study courses like Economics, Public Administration, Business Administration, Sociology, etc.
Step 2: Get A Job in Foreign Affairs
Upon graduation, and the compulsory one year National Youth Service, its advisable that you apply for a job at the Federal Ministry Of Foreign Affairs. This is necessary and would ease you way into becoming a Nigerian diplomat. Of course, you have to apply via the Federal Civil Service Commission.
Another method in these category is to get a job at the United Nations. This would put you in the lime light as a candidate to become an ambassador for your country when the need arises. If you also have connections in Abuja or know people at the top, it would be easier for you.
Step 3: Attend the Foreign Service Academy
The Foreign Service Academy of Nigeria is located In Lagos and Abuja. This academy trains and empowers individuals with the necessary skills that they require. If you are a student of the Foreign Service Academy, you would receive all the necessary training that would cut across all the areas of foreign relations. It is important to note that this would be done in theory and practical. There as a student, they would address you as a student officer. The Foreign Service academy is part of the Ministry of Foreign affairs as a department.
How Much Time Would It Take To Become A Diplomat?
There is no straight forward path to becoming a diplomat. Given that it’s difficult, doesn’t make it impossible. So let me estimate the time it would take you to be awarded a diplomatic posting and reach the level of foreign affairs service.
- Bachelor’s Degree – Four years
- Master’s Degree – Two years
- Nigerian Foreign Service internship or volunteer experience – No actual timeframe for that
- Foreign Service Officer Test and medical/security clearances – Four to six months
- Appointment to Foreign Service post – No standard timeframe
Benefits of Being A Nigerian Diplomat
Being a representative of your country in the international front can be quite accomplishing. They rank high amongst other careers in Nigeria with so many benefits.
Nigerian diplomats enjoy a lot of benefits. This is why I infer that they are a very happy class of federal workers. At least with free world travel, cultural exposures and the opportunity to represent your country on the international scene, I think that they would make a bunch of happy federal worker.
Salary Structure of A Nigerian Diplomat (2020)
The Nigerian Diplomat salary depends on the level, kind of work, educational qualification and organization he or she works in. On average, a career diplomat with a Masters earn over N315,000 per month while one who has more degrees or certificates from foreign bodies like the United Nations can earn as high as N600,000 or even $5,000 a month as a senior diplomat.