Mustapha made this announcement in Abuja at the launch of the Presidential Committee on the Review of Number and Strategy for Resourcing Nigeria’s Diplomatic Missions Abroad.
According to a statement made available to our correspondent by the director of press, office of the SGF, Willie Bassey, the committee is charged with reviewing all previous reports on the establishment of foreign missions and measures taken to effectively and economically manage Nigeria’s Mission, as well as identifying challenges facing those Missions and making appropriate recommendations on their sustainability.
During the inauguration of the 13-person group, Mustapha stated that the committee’s findings will enable the President to address the core reasons of the critical state of the diplomatic missions and its influence on the international image of Nigeria.
He added that the persistent debt experienced by foreign missions has badly impacted the nation’s integrity.
Mustapha stated, “As we are all aware, our Diplomatic Missions around the world are currently faced with multifaceted challenges following, among others, the scale of perennial indebtedness they find themselves.
“This poses attendant damage to our nation’s integrity. Consequent upon these, Mr. President approved the constitution of this Presidential Committee.”
He stated that“the cost-saving measures taken by the previous administrations in reviewing the foreign missions had not yielded the desired results, hence the constitution of the Committee”.
SGF added that the committee would develop a broad-based and sustainable solution that is Service-Wide, as it relates to institutions such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, and the Federal Civil Service Commission, among others, in order to holistically address the challenges on short-, medium-, and long-term bases.
The Committee, which was given a 3-month deadline, is tasked with the following as part of its Terms of Reference: to determine the current number and categories of Nigeria’s diplomatic missions and subject matter desks around the world, to categorize their strategic importance and global impact, and to make recommendations as necessary; Determine and classify the capacity of missions to generate money, their performance in this regard, their causes, and their level of debt.
It also involves examining the understanding and application of essential existing policies, guidelines, circulars, rules, laws, financial management systems, statutes, etc., across Nigeria’s Missions in an effort to minimize bottlenecks, misapplication, and violations.
Ambassador Martin Uhomoibi (former Federal Permanent Secretary), Chairman of the Committee, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the confidence placed in him and the members of his Committee to evaluate the foreign mission service in order to reposition it for successful service delivery.
Ambassador Uhomoibi told the SGF that the committee was not only prepared to complete the task at hand, but also to exceed all expectations.