Economic, political challenges continue to impede smooth functioning of government
By Anthony Opara
The political and economic challenges that Nigeria continues to be gripped in continues to take its toll on the smooth running of government, including most notably, the nation’s foreign missions, The Difference checks have revealed.
Over two years into its tenure, only six of the total tally of about 110 Nigerian missions today have effective, regular leadership at the ambassadorial level.
This was gleaned from checks on the website of the Ministry of Foreign affairs.
The ‘lucky’ missions where effective representation has been established include Accra, Ghana where Ambassador Seyi Onafowokan holds the fort, Berlin, Germany with Ambassador A. U. Abubakar in charge and Doha, Qatar that is led by Ambassador Shuaibu A. Ahmed.
Others are Jakarta, Indonesia with Ambassador A. R. Sallahdeen at the helm, Kingston, Jamaica which is led by Ambassador Olatokunbo Kamson and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso where Ambassador D. G. Bala presides.
Analysts say the current situation is indeed most troubling given that Nigeria presently needs all the coordinated foreign outreach it can muster to help take the economy out of recession. They also note some of the very glaring gaffes in the nation’s foreign policy arena, including the very embarrassing situation with the Economic Community of West African States where Nigeria and other West African nations are presently working at cross-purposes as per the application of Morocco to join the 15-member body.
Troubled by the poor handling of the current situation, foreign policy veterans like the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi and members of the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) have cried out publicly, asking that the nation needs to put its house in order on this front.
Efforts to get a response from the Foreign Minister on the state of affairs were unsuccessful as at press time. However, the present position on the ministry’s website does indicate that the ministry has recently reacted to the extant situation on its internet page where, until a few days ago, the name of the deceased Foreign Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe had remained profiled as the serving ambassador of Nigeria to Germany, alongside a plethora of other former ambassadors that had since completed their tour of duty!
Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama