83 New ambassadors blocked five months after Senate approval
Eighty-three newly appointed ambassadors of Nigeria are stuck in the country more than five months after their appointments were confirmed by the Senate.
According to a study by The Nation, there is no indication yet when they will be released.
Designated ambassadors include personnel and non-professional staff.
They were not even introduced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which usually precedes their appointment by the President.
Foreign Ministry officials said that only President Muhammadu Bukhari can determine the fate of the appointed ambassadors.
On May 12 and July 1, 2020, the President sent a letter to the Senate requesting the approval of 42 career ambassadors and 41 designated non-career ambassadors, respectively.
The Red Chamber approved the career ambassadors on June 12, 2020, and on July 22, it cleared their non-professional colleagues.
But it was a “waiting game” for new ambassadors, who received no messages from the presidential administration or the foreign ministry.
Investigations have identified various reasons for blocking most of the designated ambassadors, especially non-career ambassadors.
The source said that Nigeria was waiting for an “Agree” from the countries where most of the appointed ambassadors would be sent.
Consent is “a memorandum from one nation to another accepting the appointment of an ambassador or envoy.”
One diplomat said: “It’s like competing with an ambassador appointed by the host country. Ideally, given our international goodwill, this should not take up to five months.
“If the delay concerns the Accord, I hope we do not slip into a state of pariah. More than 41 countries cannot provide such a diplomatic response.
“The speed with which the Agreement is handled determines the mutual respect between Nigeria and these countries.”
In response to a question, the diplomat said: “In our various embassies, there may be sabotages by professional diplomats who may not submit the Compliance to the host countries in time.
“These diplomats prefer to run our embassies without ambassadors. Thus, they can sabotage an early return. Agree.
“This delay is bad for our image. There are delicate bilateral and multilateral issues that the civil servants of our embassies cannot deal with. ”
Read also: Senate confirms Seriki, Adezina, Jebah and 38 other people as appointed ambassadors
The results also showed that the delay could have been caused by both poor bureaucracy and funding ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to “incredibly low revenues” from oil.
A senior source said, “This is really embarrassing. Some of us have tried to figure out what happened. Those who need to know are really ignorant.
“I am aware that some of these new ambassadors are demanding too much ‘naughty posts’. Too many politicians interact, especially from non-career ambassadors.
“I think at some point in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Minister Coordinator, Mr. Jeffrey Onyama, and the former permanent secretary were at odds and official transactions were stopped.
“They had a lot of irreconcilable problems and the freeze continued for a while.
“The permanent secretary was recently redeployed and sanity is returning to the existing system.
“This is a kind of ministry in which lobbying is more pronounced than a real service. Clientelism prevails in our overseas services. Unfortunately this has not been resolved.
“I would not be surprised if some of the professional ambassadors are secretly sent by the ministry.
“Some of the officials I spoke to said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also lacks money. Most of our embassies are struggling with funding. Some embassies even owe money for some services. You cannot field ambassadors without funds.
“I think that with the approval of the budget by the president, there should be an improvement. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted oil margins with implications for all sectors. ”
It became known that interested ambassadors are putting increasing pressure on the staff of the Foreign Ministry.
A Foreign Ministry source said: “In fact, most of these appointed ambassadors were worried. They called the ministry and the presidency to find out what was happening, but to no avail.
“Some of the professional ambassadors are more concerned about time, especially those with several years of service left. Most of them fidget for days on end, and they do not know their fate.
“The situation is aggravated by the fact that no postal letters are sent or subjected to normal induction.
“Even political or lay ambassadors feel uncomfortable because they fear that they may suffer the fate of the councilors of the Niger Delta Development Commission, which was disbanded before it took off.
“Some lay ambassadors have political aspirations for 2023 and believe they may lose their states. When politics begins, they find it difficult to settle in host countries.
“I’m in a dilemma whether it’s worth it or not.”
In response to an inquiry, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ferdinand Nwonier said that “the secondment of the appointed ambassadors is at the discretion of the country’s president.”
Nwonye said: “Ambassadors are the representatives of the president in the countries where they are located. Therefore, sending them is left to the discretion of the president, who decides when and where to publish them. “
He said that “the ministry only accepts instructions on such issues, but the dollar depends on the president.”
Interested career ambassadors: CO Nwachukwu (Abia); A. Kefas (Adamava); RU Brown (Aqua Ibom); G.A. Odudigbo (Anambra); OK. Onovu (Anambra); Yu.S. Suleiman (Bauchi); E.S. Agbana (Bayelsa); BBM Okoyen (Bayelsa); GM Okoko (Benue); A. M. Garba (Borno); M.I. Bashir (Borno); MO Abam (Cross River); A.E. Allotey (Cross River); G.E. Edokpa (Edo); A. N. Madubuike (Enugu); Adam Lamuwa (Gombe); Mr. Innocent A. Ivejo (Imo); M.S. Abubakar (Jigava); J. Ahmed (Jigava); SD Umar (Kaduna); A. Sule (Kano); G. Ya. Hamza (Kano).
Others: N. Rimi (Katsina); L.S. Ahmed-Remava (Katsina); M. Manu (Kebbi); L.R. Ocheni (Kogi); L.A. Yusuf (Kogi); M. Abdulrahim (Kwara); V.A.Adedeji (Lagos); AU Oga (Nasarava); A.A. Musa (Niger); ON. Colo (Niger); S.O. Olanian (Ogun); A.R. Adehola (Ogun); Dr.-Eng. Awe (Ondo); OO Aluko (Osun); I.A. Alatishe (Osun); V.A. Adeleke (Oyo); M.S. Adam (Plateau); L. N. Charles (Rivers); Z. M. Ifu (Taraba); BB Hamman (Yobe).