The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has explained why most Nigerian ambassador-designates were yet to assume duties on their new assignments.
Speaking on it, the ministry said all necessary preliminary procedures for their deployment were yet to be completed.
Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Sola Enikanolaiye, told newsmen in New York that the ministry had started receiving “agreemo”, which is a memorandum from one country to another agreeing to the appointment of an ambassador or envoy.
“There are three groups of ambassadors. The first group, to which Professor (Tijjani) Bande belongs, has been announced and professor Bande has resumed here in New York.
“Ambassador Audu Kadiri in Geneva has also resumed. We expect that Ambassador Bankole Adeoye going to Addis Ababa should resume in the next couple of days. That’s the very first group.
“The second group of ambassadors, which was drawn largely from the career category, has also been deployed.
“We’ve started to receive ‘agreemo’, which is consent of some the receiving states. And we expect that in the next couple of weeks, they should also assume duties.
“What we’re waiting for is the deployment of the non-career; that has not been concluded; it’s ongoing. We expect that should be completed also in the next couple of weeks.
“So that, minus or plus, in the next two months, most of our ambassadors should have assumed (duty) in their various posts abroad,” Enikanolaiye said.
The permanent secretary said the financial situation of the missions had been resolved, adding that the government has disbursing funds for the success of the missions..
“The state of the Nigerian missions abroad has been a major concern to government, particularly in the area of funding.
“But I can announce that the situation is poised to improve because additional funding has been provided by government and are currently being disbursed.
“We believe that upon receipt of those funds, they would be able to at least come out of the woods.
“But we need to look into a more sustainable manner of funding Nigerian missions so that they would not go back into the era of huge indebtedness from which they are now trying to come out at this time,” he concluded.
Recall the Federal Government had recalled all the ambassadors appointed by the previous administration in 2015, and now the country’s foreign missions are run by Chargé d’Affaires or Counsel-Generals.