Iduma Chris Mayor | File Photo
.Service providers threaten court action over debt
They use their private savings to run embassies and missions
By Nweze Anaga,
Hunger and starvation have hit Nigerian envoys over Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s failure to pay their five months allocation.
The ambassadors lamented that the paucity of funds has made it difficult for them to return home, disclosing that they use their private savings to run embassies and missions.
In a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Dean None-Career Ambassadors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr Iduma Chris Mayor, they further revealed that service providers have threatened court actions against the missions because of their indebtadness.
They also debunked the publications credited to the Special Assistant to the Foreign Affairs Minister, Alkalis Abdulkarim, on the Nation Newspaper online edition of October 26, 2023, that Non-Career Ambassadors were lobbying prominent personalities to extend their stay, and that the Ministry has completed, as at October 24, 2023, sending the money for ambassadors passages to return home.
“They are all false and misleading as none of the envoys has received such money as at today 30th October, 2023,” they stated.
The statement reads in part: “The attention of the Dean of Non Career Ambassadors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has been drawn to the publication credited to one Mr. Alkalis Abdulkarim, Special Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Tuggar, on Media and Communication, published on the Nation Newspaper online edition of 26th October 2023.
“In the said publication, the author alleged that Non-Career Ambassadors are lobbying prominent personalities to extend their stay.
“Ordinarily, we would have ignored the publication but for the obligation we owe Nigerians and our friends and partners at the international community to be properly informed and the fact that dignity, integrity, intelligence, accuracy, and sensibility in speech is required from occupants of the exalted office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“Regrettably, these attributes are conspicuously absent in the publication above. Firstly, the starvation which the Missions and Embassies are going through for the Ministry’s failure in remittance of their overhead allocation for five months running now is in public domain. So where are the funds which a source, according to the author, learnt that the alleged move to mop up funds in their embassies by the Ambassadors, when it is as well in the public domain that Ambassadors have resorted to using their savings to run the missions and embassies and services providers threatening court actions against missions.
“This Class of Ambassadors both Career and Non-Career has distinguished themselves, they are men and women of high integrity, as eloquently expressed by the erstwhile Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, whom together we made some modest achievements.
“Contrary to the claim of Mr. Alkalis Abdulkarim that the Ministry has completed as at 24th October 2023 sending the money for ambassadors passages to return home, that information is misleading as none of the envoys has received such money as at today 30th October 2023.
“I urge the Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister to please find out from his boss and report to the public: (1) whether or not he was consulted before the ambassadors wrote him for the extension of date to 31st December 2023; (2) Whether or not he was in receipt of the letter to that effect dated September 8, 2023; (3) Whether or not he assured his erstwhile colleagues that he was going to present their request to Mr. President and; (4) whether he did present the request to His Excellency Mr President.
“The Dean owes his colleagues who chose him an obligation to not sit down and watch their hard earned reputation to be dragged in the mud, and consequently, will in due course and not long, address the public as it is important to discharge this obligations for the overall well-being of the 4Ds foreign policy directions of the Renewed Hope mantra of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.”