By Seun Aweda
LEGISREPORTS NG – Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday in Abuja that his administration will undertake a review of Nigerian foreign missions to determine those that are really essential.
Speaking after being briefed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bulus Lolo, President Buhari said that a Presidential Committee will soon be established to carry out the review.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina said the proposed review will determine the number of essential missions Nigeria needs to maintain abroad so that appropriate standards and quality can be maintained.
According to the President there was no point in Nigeria operating missions all over the world “with dilapidated facilities and demoralized staff” when the need for some of the missions was questionable.
“Let’s keep only what we can manage. We can’t afford much for now. There’s no point in pretending,” President Buhari told Ambassador Lolo and other officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
President Buhari also called for the record of former government officials and other persons still using diplomatic and official passports illegally, saying that his administration will take necessary action against them.
“Something has to be done so that we can get back our respectability as a country. Some people carry official passports and get involved in all sorts of negative acts. We need to do something about it,” the President said.
Ambassador Lolo told President Buhari that the challenges facing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs included the absence of a Foreign Service Commission, poor funding of foreign missions, policy inconsistencies and training deficiencies, among others.
Addressing State House correspondents after the briefing, Lolo said Nigeria currently has 119 missions abroad and that President Buhari asked the ministry to be realistic in terms of the nation’s representation abroad.
“We have 119 missions. He (the president) asked the questions whether we need to have that number or we rationalised based on our capacity. Right now, the economy is looking down. We are trying to revive and revamp. It is a matter of time.
The specific directive he has given is that a committee be formed to look at the whole issue of our representation abroad, the size and the number of missions on whether or not the number should remain the same or we do something about those numbers,” Lolo said.
Post from Legis Reports Ng