FG to close five foreign embassies

(Last Updated On: 2017-05-26)


Olumide Lawal

No fewer than five foreign missions and embassies whose countries of their domestications were not mentioned have been shut down by the Federal Government.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, told newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, but failed to disclose embassies or missions affected out of the current 119 foreign missions.

He said the process for closure was underway and was also subject to the approval of the president.

“We do not want to indicate the embassies that will be closed yet because we are in the process of submitting the proposals, the cost analysis and also the political analysis we did to the president,” Onyeama said.

“When he sees that, he may or may not want to close some, so we have not yet reached the stage of closing some”. The minister also reiterated that the closing missions abroad were “extremely expensive”. “The expense, costs of closing embassies is so high and prohibitive but in the long run it will more economical.”

The minister, had on April 10, said closure of Nigerian missions abroad is inevitable, adding that it was expensive to close a country’s embassy but quickly added that in the long run the policy would be beneficial to Nigerians.

Onyeama explained that reduction of Nigeria’s foreign missions remains one of the agendas of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

“The government is following up on that and we have sort of pre­pared the roadmap; we have started the implementation of that and made also recom­mendations in that context,” he said.

“Paradoxically, closing missions is extremely expensive. At first sight it seems obvious that you close it you are saving cost but you will actually find that the cost of closing is almost prohibitive.But in the long run it will be cheaper, but in the imme­diate and short term it is ex­pensive but we have started the process,”he said.

It would be recalled that Buhari had said at the inception of his administration that the Federal Government would reduce the number of missions to save cost.


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