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Buhari Orders Reduction in Foreign Missions


ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – In the face of a dwindling economy, the Federal Government is set to c‎ut down on the huge amount of money spent on foreign missions following a ‎presidential directive.
President Muhammadu Buhari, Tuesday directed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to come up with a comprehensive plan that would lead to the
trimming of existing foreign missions.
With a total of 119 foreign missions across the world, Nigeria, according to the 2015 budget will spend about N34 billion on foreign missions, cutting across personnel, overhead, recurrent and capital costs.
Receiving briefing from officials of the Foreign Affairs ministry led by the Permanent Secretary, Paul Bulus Lolo, on Tuesday, President Buhari directed that the list of missions be reviewed for
possible trimming, based on interest and capacity.
The review, the President said, would determine the number of essential missions Nigeria needs to maintain abroad so that appropriate standards and quality could be maintained.
The President said that there was no point Nigeria operating missions all over the world “with dilapidated facilities  and demoralised staff” when the need for some of the missions was questionable.
“Let’s keep only what we can manage. We can’t afford much for now. There’s no point in pretending,” a statement after the briefing quoted
the President as saying.
Fielding questions from journalists after briefing the President, Lolo said the President asked the Ministry to be realistic in terms of representation abroad.
“We have 119 missions. He asked the questions whether we need to have that number or we rationalised based on our capacity. Right now, the
economy is looking down. We are trying to revive and revamp. It is a matter of time”, he said.
The President specifically directed that a committee be formed to look at the whole issue of foreign representation “the size and the number
of missions on whether or not the number should remain the same or we do something about those numbers”, Lolo told journalists at the
Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The committee is expected to commence work on the list and revert to the President for further actions that need to be taken.
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He explained that the decision was borne out of the need to cut government in the face of ongoing financial challenges, due to the fall of oil prices.
Buhari has also cut travel costs incurred from large Presidential delegations, reducing slots from each department at the State House.

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