Minister of Foreign affairs have revealed the shutdown of Nigerian embassies in the following countries – Sri Lanka, Czech Republic and the Republic of Serbia, another in Ukraine downsized. He noted this during a press conference on Tuesday, 21st May, where he said that the cause of the shutdown and downsizing was due to Insufficient fund.
Geoffrey Onyeama added that the ministry has been unable to maintain the embassies due to insufficient funds, thereby enforcing the shutdowns because they’re left in terrible states which is paints a bad image for the country.
In his words,
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.
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.”
In connections to this, President Buhari has once spoken about reducing the country’s foreign mission number of 119 missions. Buhari in September 2015 announced that Senate committee on foreign affairs would undertake a review of Nigerian foreign missions to determine those that are really essential so that appropriate standards and quality can be maintained.
“Let’s keep only what we can manage. We can’t afford much for now. There’s no point in pretending,” Buhari told officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.