Buhari may close unessential foreign missions
President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday that his administration would undertake a review of Nigerian foreign missions to determine those that were really essential.
Buhari said this Abuja after being briefed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bulus Lolo.
He said that a Presidential Committee would soon be constituted to carry out the review.
According to the president, the review will determine the number of 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 demoralised 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.’’
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 would 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.
Lolo had informed the president that the challenges facing the ministry included the absence of a Foreign Service Commission, poor funding of foreign missions, policy inconsistencies and training deficiencies, among others.