Tuesday, September 8, 2015 4:33 pm
*Review Committee to be set up
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.
Nigeria at the moment maintains 105 missions, embassies and consulates worldwide, three of them in the United States.
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.
The President said that the review will determine the number of essential missions Nigeria needs to maintain abroad so that appropriate standards and quality can be maintained.
The President said that 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.
The President 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.