Foreign Affairs Ministry Finally Gives in to Reps’ Demands, Submits Documents Requested to Present Budget Defense


Apologizes to the House for Earlier Infractions Observed.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs,Tuesday, surrendered itself to the demands of the Reps Committee on Foreign Affairs, requesting the Ministry to abide by a number of conditions bothering on identified financial infractions before being allowed to present its 2023 budget proposals to the Committee.

The above follows an earlier directive by the Committee last week that the Ministry must align itself with the provisions of the 2022 amended Appropriation Act,which empowers Missions under the Ministry to spend the capital components of their budgets without recourse to headquarters,a fiscal regulation against which the Ministry had through letters and telexes to the Missions issued a counter-directive.In addition to the above,the Committee had also requested that the Ministry list out in the 2023 budget proposals all targeted incomes from administrative charges at the Missions and also ensure that all such charges accruing to them are not expended without being appropriated as revenues by the National Assembly or without seeking the necessary waivers.

Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives,led by its Chairman,Rt Hon.( Dr.) Yusuf Buba Yakub and a delegation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs led by the Hon. Minister of State in the Ministry,Amb. Zubairu Dada, during the rescheduled budget defense exercise at the National Assembly on Tuesday, November 8,2022.

Speaking at the budget defense exercise, Chairman of the Committee,Rt. Hon.(Dr.) Yusuf Buba Yakub informed that officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had at the previous night submitted documents to the Secretariat of the Committee.He said it was incumbent on the Ministry to follow all laid-down financial regulations and to ensure that things were done properly. He displayed to members of the Committee copies of telexes sent by the Ministry to the nation’s Missions across the globe directing that they abide by the directives of the Committee.

Following the adoption of motions to that effect,the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs,Amb. Zubairu Dada,who led a delegation of the Ministry ‘s officials,was invited to present the budget performance details for the ending year.Speaking at the occasion,the Minister apologized for all the identified infractions of the Ministry, emphasizing that,as learners of the processes involved in governance and bureaucracy,they were open to mistakes. He used the opportunity to also inform the Committee of the absence of the substantive Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama,who he said was on an official assignment abroad.He also used the occasion to inform the Committee that all outstanding issues in relation to the earlier directives of the Committee had been taken up by the Ministry and were fully addressed in letters to Missions.

Consequent upon the above,the Minister presented the budget performance for the ending year. Following explanations to various issues raised by members of the Committee on the performance of the current budget at the Ministry,the Minister also got the nod to present the 2023 budget proposals of the Ministry.Members of the Committee adopted for consideration the 2023 budget proposals with a total sum of over N98 Billion Naira.

Also speaking at the end of the exercise, Chairman of the Committee,Rt.Hon.( Dr.) Yusuf Buba Yakub, again re-iterated his belief in doing things properly. He said there were various ways through which the Committee could help to advance the course of the mandate of the Ministry.He expressed optimism that the Ministry was up for better days, having lived up to the demands of the House Committee,which had directed the Ministry to adhere to the provision of the 2022 Appropriations Act, empowering the Missions and Embassies to set up their own Tenders Board and to expend the Capital Components of their budgets without recourse to headquarters ,which was a major cog in the wheels of development in Missions that he recently visited. He again emphasized the importance of submitting funds generated as administrative charges at the Missions to effective appropriation procedures before expending same, adding that such funds that run into billions of Naira must be properly accounted for or else anyone could go to jail on an account of abuse of processes in financial regulations.

The Adamawa -born lawmaker also used the occasion to call for increased funding for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,saying the Ministry as it currently operates is grossly underfunded.He appealed to the National Assembly to again come to the aid of the Ministry by offering it some special interventions that will be aimed at turning things around and addressing the myriads of challenges that exist, especially,at the Foreign Missions.While emphasizing that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of any country remains one of the most important Ministries in such country, especially with its mandate of projecting the nation’s image positively across the world,Buba said the Ministry deserves better. He recalled the intervention of the National Assembly through which the Nigeria Embassy in Niger has been rebuilt and said the entire Ministry was again in dire need of such intervention.

It will be recalled that the Committee had last week declined consideration of the Ministry ‘s 2023 budget proposals,citing financial irregularities arising from the flouting of Section 10 of the 2022 Appropriations Act,as amended,and spending without the necessary waivers sums totalling billions of Naira generated at the Missions as administrative charges, following Mr.President’s earlier approval to collect such revenues at the Missions.

The breakdown of this year’s budget proposals at the Ministry are as follow:
Main envelop – personnel #62,301,768.900

Main envelop – overhead #31,127,195,062

Capital development fund #4,685,537,486

Total #98,114,501,448

Nkem Anyata-Lafia
Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to the Lawmaker.
Wednesday, November



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