- Closes foreign missions in Czech, Serbia, Sri Lanka
President Muhammadu Buhari may have commenced implementation of austerity measures towards cutting down the cost of governance and save the country from the paucity of revenue to run the government. The introduction and implementation of the austerity measures by President Buhari appears to have commenced with foreign missions some of which are bingf shut down by the federal government to cut cost.
National Daily learned that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, acknowledged that the Federal Government shut down three foreign missions and downsized another because of insufficient funds.
The Foreign Affairs Minister on Tuesday in Abuja disclosed that the federal government shut missions in Sri Lanka, Czech Republic and Republic of Serbia while Ukraine was drastically downsized.
National Daily further learned that the Minister highlighted that Nigeria had 119 foreign missions before the closure of the three missions; Onyeama affirmed that the reduction of Nigeria’s foreign missions is a major agenda of the President Buhari administration.
Onyeama explained that the missions were closed because of the inability of the ministry to maintain them due to insufficient funds.
“Every embassy has written to us about their huge financial demands and when we go to these embassies we see clearly very unattractive state that does not reflect well on the country. Very often the staff of the embassy really find things extremely difficult. Clearly, if we want to operate on the scale and scope in which we are at the moment with over a 100 missions around the world, we need to spend a lot more,” the minister narrated; noting: “though Nigeria has spent a lot, it was not enough, compared to what other countries around the world spend.”
Ther minister added: “What I am saying is that rather than having this terrible circle of inadequate funding for missions, headquarters and so forth we have to reduce the scope.
“We should have foreign missions that we can fund, we might not necessarily close the embassies per se, it might be reducing the number of staff in the embassies.
“Because what we found out is that it is more expensive to close the embassies than operating them.”