How we started

Our History

Find out how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was established.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has undergone various phases of structural change since it began as a small unit in the office of the Prime Minister in September 1957. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then called the Department of External Affairs, came to being in the year 1960 shortly after Nigeria attained independence. The first Minister was Dr. J.A. Wachukwu. It had, at inception, personnel strength of twelve (12) officers, responsible for the conduct of Nigeria’s Commonwealth and Foreign Relations. These officers became the first generation of Foreign Service Officers in the country.

The twelve officers are:

  1. Olumide O. Omololu
  2. D. C. Igwe
  3. John Garba
  4. Soji Williams
  5. Prince Adedokun Haastrup
  6. Chuks O. Ifeagwu
  7. John N. Ukaegbu
  8. C. C. Chukwura
  9. Leslie Harriman
  10. E. Omotayo Ogunsulire
  11. M. A. Sanusi
  12. Philip C. Asiodu

At independence in 1960, the division was renamed the Ministry of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. On attainment of a Republican status in 1963, it was designated, Ministry of External Affairs and in 1989, the Ministry was re-designated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.