OrderPaperToday – Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun of being responsible for the deplorable state of Nigerian embassies and foreign missions.

Senator Sani made the disclosure during the budget defence of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora on Tuesday.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama lamented poor funding for the ministry as well as diplomats and foreign missions during the presentation of his Ministry’s 2018 budget proposal of N62,092,198,465.

He however had words of praise for the Federal Government, saying “I commend the Federal Government, of course we are not sitting down with our arms folded. We are doing the best we can to improve the situation.

“I have to really thank the Minister of Finance who has really been doing her best and trying to come up with ways to address some issues.”

The statement of the Minister did not go down well with Senator Shehu Sani who accused the Federal government of being unserious about running foreign missions.

“I heard you commending the president and the Minister of Finance, so we should blame the ghost or who, for goodness’ sake?” Sani asked.

He continued, “When will this problem come to an end. It is very clear that the government is not serious about intervening to adjust the problems of our foreign missions.”

The Senator also expressed doubt over Nigeria’s claim to be the giant of Africa.

“We have virtually turned our staffs and diplomats in our foreign missions into beggars, embarrassing our country, disgracing ourselves.

“A country like Cuba has over 160 embassies globally and they take of them. We must solve this problem once and for all.

“When you go to our embassies, there are toilets you can’t flush. They live in hotels, their cars have no fuel and we cannot service the electricity bill or water bill, nothing!

“They are giving quit notice to our people; a country that portrays itself as an African giant, we are just not serious about these things. Niger Republic, Benin Republic, Malawi, Burundi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Cape Verde can all take care of their embassies. What type of giants are we?”

Sani concluded by directing the Minister to make a documentation of all the problems facing the Ministry, possible solutions, and the costs involved.

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Damilola is a multiple award-winning Writer, Researcher, and Community/Sustainable Development Practitioner. His interests and experience span across media, academics, human capital development, and strategic planning. Damilola is the first Nigerian in history to win the blog4dev writing contest organised by the World Bank. Also, his writing on violent extremism and sustainable peace in Nigeria won a PeaceWriteNow prize, presented by the Embassy of Ireland in June, 2018. His works have been published in Nigeria and the United States of America, in English and in French. Damilola has also attended important meetings within and outside the African continent including the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C, USA. He was also a special guest on a panel discussion titled “How creative industry can help to stem fragility,” which was held at the headquarters of the World Bank in Washington, D.C, USA. Furthermore, Damilola was selected as a Champion of Advocacy against extreme poverty and preventable diseases by ONE Campaign in May, 2019. An alumnus of the prestigious Lagos Business School and Federal University of Technology Akure, Damilola Adeniran represents Nigeria in the Youth Transforming Africa Program.

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