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FG To Close Five Foreign Missions

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama has said that five of Nigeria’s foreign missions and embassies could be closed.

Onyeama made this known while addressing newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, but he did not give details on the affected embassies or missions.

He however said that the process for closure has begun and is subject to final approval by the president, who is at liberty to give his consent or disapproval.

The minister said: “We do not want to indicate the embassies that will be closed yet because we are in the process of submitting the proposals – the cost analysis and also the political analysis we did – to the president.

“When he sees that, he may or may not want to close some, so we have not yet reached the stage of closing some,” adding that closing a foreign mission was “extremely expensive”.

“The expense, costs of closing embassies is so high and prohibitive but in the long run it will more economical,” he explained.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN recalled that Onyeama had said in April this year that the closure of some of Nigeria’s foreign missions was inevitable and remains on the agenda of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Nigeria currently has 119 foreign missions.

“The government is following up on that and we have sort of prepared the roadmap,” the minister had said.

“We have started the implementation of that and made also recommendations in that context.

“Paradoxically, closing missions is extremely expensive. At first sight it seems obvious that you close it you are saving cost but you will actually find that the cost of closing is almost prohibitive.

“But in the long run it will be cheaper, but in the immediate and short term it is ex-pensive but we have started the process.”

Many of the Ambassadors-designate appointed by President Buhari are yet to be deployed to their various missions, except for the Ambassadors to the United Nations and African Union who have since assumed at their posts.

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