President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday in Abuja that a Presidential Committee will soon be established to review the number of Nigeria’s foreign missions to determine those that are really essential.
Speaking after he was briefed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bulus Lolo, President Buhari said the review will determine the number of essential missions Nigeria needs to maintain abroad so that appropriate standards and quality can be maintained.
Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) in a statement on Tuesday quoted Buhari as saying, there is 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 the 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 the President 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.