Nigerian President Considers Purging Embassies Abroad In Budget Cuts

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BuhariNigerian President has ordered a review of the country’s diplomatic missions abroad in a move that could see the west African country purge the number of staff is has working at its embassies in foreign countries.

President Muhammadu Buhari asked a select committee to look at “the number of essential missions Nigeria needs to maintain abroad so that appropriate standards and quality can be maintained.”

The west African nation, which is the continent’s largest economy, has 119 foreign mission. Buhari said the country did not need missions all over the world “with dilapidated facilities and demoralized staff”.

“Let’s keep only what we can manage. We can’t afford much for now. There’s no point in pretending,” President Buhari told officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The oil producing country is facing tough times as prices for the commodity that generates nearly 90 percent of its budget revenue remains subdued on the international market due to an oversupply and a slowdown in China.

Nigeria’s currency has depreciated more than 20 percent this year, even after a peaceful election that saw Buhari, an opposition candidate, win a presidential election for the first time in the history of the country.

Its foreign missions have suffered an image dent after a wanted Islamic State terrorist was recently arrested while trying to escape from Lebanon using a Nigerian visa in his fake passport.

On Monday, President Buhari, who has vowed to “restore sanity to the system”, revoked a diplomatic passport for a former public officials issued to them while in office. The directive affected a slew of former governors, ministers, senators and commissioners.

“Something has to be done so that we can get back our respectability as a country. Some people carry official passports and get involved in all sorts of negative acts. We need to do something about it,” the president said.


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