Only 30 of the 110 foreign missions will be considered for budgetary allocations in the 2019 fiscal year.
Mustapha Suleiman, permanent secretary of the ministry of foreign affairs, disclosed this while defending the ministry’s budget before the senate committee on foreign affairs.
He said there was a 64 percent cut on the capital votes proposed for the missions in the 2019 budget, when compared to the N11.3 billion earmarked in 2018.
According to him, the N4.1 billion was proposed for the missions for 2019 can only cover 30 missions critically in need of funding.
“As a result of this, only 30 missions could be considered out of 110 missions for purchase of representational car, renovation/completion of ongoing projects,” he told the committee.
Monsurat Sunmonu, chairman of the committee, wondered why the ministry had such meagre budget in spite of the challenges of Nigerian missions abroad, while expressing concern over their functionality.
The welfare of Nigerian diplomats has been a source of concern. There have been cases when diplomatic officials were unable to pay utility bills, rent or their children’s school fees.
In 2017, officials of the Nigerian embassy in the US protested the non-payment of their salaries for three months.