The federal government has inaugurated the Presidential Committee on the Review of Number and Strategy for Resourcing Nigeria’s Diplomatic Missions Worldwide.
The committee also has the mandate of reviewing all previous reports on the establishment of foreign missions and measures taken to effectively and economically manage Nigeria’s mission; and to also identify challenges facing those missions and make appropriate recommendations on their sustainability.
While inaugurating the 13-man committee in Abuja, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the report of the committee would enable President to tackle the root causes of the critical state of affairs of the diplomatic missions and its impact on the image of Nigeria on the international arena.
He said the lingering indebtedness being faced by the foreign missions has affected the nation’s integrity negatively.
“As we are all aware, our Diplomatic Missions around the world are currently faced with multifaceted challenges following, among others, the scale of perennial indebtedness they find themselves.
“This poses attendant damage to our nation’s integrity. Consequent upon these, Mr. President approved the constitution of this Presidential Committee,” he said.
He said some of the cost-saving measures taken by the previous administrations in reviewing the foreign missions had not yielded the desired results, hence the constitution of the Committee.
He said the committee would come up with a broad-based and sustainable solution that is Service-Wide, as they relate to institutions such as Central Bank of Nigeria, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and the Federal Civil Service Commission, among others, to holistically address the challenges in short, medium and long-term bases.
The Committee which was given a three-month timeline has the following as part of its terms of reference: to determine the current number, categories of Nigeria’s Diplomatic Missions; subject matter desks worldwide and categorize their strategic importance and impact worldwide and make appropriate recommendations; Identify and categorize the revenue generation capacity of missions, performance in this regard, causes and level of indebtedness.
It also include reviewing the understanding and application of critical extant policies, guidelines, circulars, codes, regulations, financial management systems, statutes, etc, across Nigeria’s Missions with a view to minimizing bottlenecks, misapplication and infractions.
In his acceptance speech, chairman of the committee, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibi thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the confidence reposed in him and the members of his committee to review the foreign mission service with the aim of repositioning it for effective service delivery.
He assured of the preparedness of the committee to not only succeed at the task before them, but to also exceed all expectations.
Members of the committee are Alhaji Sabiu Zakari, Shehu Ibrahim, Beatrice Edodamen Jedy-Agba, Ambassador Bulus Lolo, Alhaji Saheed K. Y. Adelakun and Ambassador Janet Olisa while Mr Iliyasu Agaka l would serve as the secretary.
Other members are the representatives of Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Auditor-General for the Federation, Accountant General of the Federation, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Foreign Service Advisory Council, Federal Civil Service Commission and the National Intelligence Agency.