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FG Delays Appointment Of Ambassadors Due To Financial Challenges

The Federal Government has revealed the reasons behind the delay in appointing ambassadors, more than a year after President Bola Ahmed Tinubu took office.

 Speaking at the Ministerial Sectoral Briefing organized by the Ministry of Information and National Orientation in Abuja, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, cited financial difficulties as the primary cause.

Upon assuming office, President Tinubu prioritized economic reforms, particularly the removal of consumption subsidies in favor of production subsidies. 

This shift aimed to enhance economic productivity but has faced several challenges, including currency depreciation, inflation, and overall financial instability. 

Tuggar, who previously served as the Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, highlighted these economic hurdles as significant factors in the delay.

“The whole idea was to stop subsidizing consumption and focus on subsidizing production,” Tuggar explained.

 He noted that while the government’s microeconomic reforms began to yield positive results, external factors like the rise of cryptocurrencies and platforms like Binance started to undermine these gains.

Due to these financial constraints, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has struggled to secure adequate funding. Tuggar emphasized that appointing ambassadors without the necessary financial resources to support their operations would be futile. 

“We met a situation where Foreign Affairs was not being funded like the way it should be. Some loopholes are exploited by the likes of Binance. It is a money problem. 

There is no point sending out ambassadors if you do not have the funds for them to even travel to their designated country and to run the missions effectively,” he said.

Tuggar assured that the government is actively addressing the issue. “Mr. President is working on it and it will be done in due course,” he stated.

In addition to discussing ambassadorial appointments, Tuggar addressed the ongoing issue of visa denials faced by Nigerians.

 He affirmed that Nigeria would continue to engage with other countries to resolve these issues for the collective benefit of its citizens. “It should be noted that Nigeria has one of the highest global mobility in the world,” he remarked.

Reflecting on the progress made under President Tinubu’s administration, Tuggar highlighted several achievements: 25 Memorandums of Understanding signed in various fields, engagement with 74 stakeholders within Nigeria, 236 stakeholders abroad, and five diaspora engagement initiatives. 

Over 10,278 diasporans were engaged, 56 bilateral meetings held, and three joint commission/senior official engagements conducted, including the EU–Senior Officials Meeting.

Discussing the Year of Return policy, Tuggar stated that the ministry is collaborating with other ministries, departments, and agencies, particularly the Ministry of Interior, to facilitate access to Nigeria for visitors.

 He acknowledged the challenges posed by Nigeria’s population and poverty levels but emphasized the significant contributions of Nigerians worldwide.

 Tuggar assured that the government is committed to ensuring the safety of those returning and highlighted President Tinubu’s proactive approach to national security.

Tuggar also emphasized the importance of harnessing Nigeria’s diaspora potential for national development. 

He outlined plans to enhance consular services abroad, showcasing Nigeria positively and facilitating knowledge transfer, capital investment, and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). 

The diaspora is seen as a crucial asset, with programs planned to support remittances, ease of doing business, skill transfer, and other services for the benefit of Nigerians.

 Tuggar reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to promoting democracy and ensuring its sustainability in West Africa and beyond. 

“Democracy is crucial for peace and stability in Africa and globally. Nigeria seeks to be surrounded by democracies in West Africa and beyond.

 

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