Senate sets up panel over poor funding of foreign missions
The Senate has expressed worry over the poor funding and embarrassing state of the country’s foreign missions. It, therefore, constituted an ad-hoc committee to investigate the challenges and report back in a month’s time.
It also resolved that the ad-hoc committee, whose members are yet to be listed, would include the minister of foreign affairs, former ministers of foreign affairs and serving ambassadors.
This resolution was sequel to an adopted motion yesterday moved by Senator Tijjani Yahaya Kaura. Kaura said the nation’s diplomatic missions are facing several challenges which include their inability to pay allowances, salaries and others.
It was even stated that such administrative tokenism has adversely affected visits to Nigerians in jail and provision for other consular services.
Also, host countries by this circumstance are said to be threatening to revoke building permits of some properties belonging to Nigerian missions.
The reasons for the threats followed poor structural conditions, which allegedly constitutes hazard to the communities where the buildings are situated and lack of routine maintenance that negates the building codes of host countries.
Yet, it was disclosed that the 2017 budget envelope for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was inadequate and would hardly provide the needed impetus to meet its expenditure requirements to achieve foreign policy goal and objectives in pursuance of our national interest.
As a result of all these problems, it was feared that the collective image of Nigeria suffers and may be lacking prestige and influence abroad.
However, over staffing in our foreign missions was said to be the major problem.
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