Buhari to reduce foreign missions



PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday gave indication of his plan to undertake the review of Nigerian foreign missions with a view to pruning them down.

The intending exercise, according to him, would afford the government the opportunity to determine those that are essential for Nigeria’s interest.

Speaking yesterday after receiving briefing by the officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led by the Permanent Secretary, Bulus Lolo, Buhari said that a presidential committee would soon be established to carry out the review.

President Buhari, who said that the review would determine the number of essential missions Nigeria needs to maintain abroad so that appropriate standards and quality can be maintained, said there was no point of Nigeria operating missions all over the world “with dilapidated facilities and demoralised members of 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 Lolo and other officials of the ministry.

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 further said.

Lolo told President Buhari that the challenges facing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs included absence of a Foreign Service Commission, poor funding of foreign missions, policy inconsistencies and training deficiencies, among others.

Speaking with State House

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